Monday, December 21, 2009

Was That Santa?

It was Christmas Eve. Mommy and Daddy were in high spirits. We children were bouncing around excited that Santa would arrive in a few hours. Friends and family dropped by for Christmas cheer, “What will you have to drink,” Daddy asked? Miss Bonnie replied “why your excellent egg nog of course.” Daddy handed her a cup with a wink, " I think this will put you in the Christmas spirit.” She sipped the creamy cool beverage and gasped, “that’s very nice thank you," The Christmas tree was beautiful full of sparkle and light. It held the place of honor in the living room. A roaring fire kept the room toasty warn. Garland  was draped across the windows and doorways. Red, green, and gold sparkled and danced in the eyes of the merrymakers. Goodwill enveloped the room as friends exchanged Christmas greetings. Feuds and petty jealousies disappeared as we passed the Christmas wine cup. We children watched the merry making with wonder as we awaited the bigger event Santa’s arrival!

We retired “LOL” were sent to our beds. Prayers said, tucked in and properly kissed goodnight I was now expected to fall asleep. The sounds from the front room were loud in my head. Laughter, clink of glasses, music it all reverberated around my room and kept me from slumber. I must have finally dozed off because I awoke to silence. I lay awake listening, what had happened to the merry making? I arose from my bed and crept down the hall. I stopped and listened, no sound came from the front room. I carefully pushed open the door. Moonlight lumaniaited the room. The tree stood proud and magnificent, lights and baubles sparkled in the moonlight. A low burning fire still graced the fireplace, Suddenly I saw movement, a flash of red behind the tree. I gasped and sank into the shadows. A red clad man: appeared he was placing packages under the tree on the sofa and everywhere.” It’s Santa Claus" I cried! but only in silence I was afraid to dispel the moment. I ran to my room and hid under my covers afraid Santa and his presents would disappear if he knew I saw him.

Christmas day donned. I awoke to the sound of singing, “Santa Claus is coming to town” Daddy was in the living room lighting a fire and turning on the Christmas lights. We children tumbled out of our beds and rushed down the hall. Mommy stood outside the living room door, “wait just a minute and we will all go into together.” An air of anticipation filled the hall, we squiggled and squirmed as we awaited our presents. After what seemed as a lifetime but was only minutes, we entered the room. We gasped and squealed with delight. Under the tree was a child’s paradise. Toys, games, dolls, and presents were everywhere. My much desired skates were under the tree. Roy had a red fire engine with ladder, bell, and siren. Kate had a doll that walked. Annice had a baby doll in a carriage. We girls had a whole kitchen with stove, refrigerator, and a little sink. Games, music boxes, and balls filled the room. Santa had been busy and generous. I sat on the sofa holding my bride doll dressed in   her new clothes as I watched my brother peddling his fire engine and my sisters playing with their kitchen. Santa had looked like someone I knew but I was afraid to ask or even think about it. Toys and Santa might disappear. I wanted to remain a child and enjoy the magic of Christmas and Santa for another year.

More Ruby Tuesday here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Mom is doing fine. She is out of the hospitable. Several long time friends offered her a place to stay. The insurance company paid for a rental. She is all settled in and has what she needs. Thank you to all for your wishes and prayers.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sad Day

Today is a sad day. My 78 year old Mom's house burned to the ground early this morning. She lost everything she owned. Tonight she is in the hospital with high blood pressure and breathing problems. We are so grateful that she heard the smoke alarm and got out. Prayers requested. Sympathy card and donations can be sent to
Jean Wright P.O. Box 756 Patagonia,  AZ 85624

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Stroll

Saturday night was the annual Christmas Stroll. Main street is closed off and the businesses welcome holiday merrymakers. Everyone here seems to have one or more dogs. The dogs were dressed in holiday finery, they wore Santa hats, reindeer hats, and elf hats. It was cold so your dog needs a sweater, coat, or blanket. The creation is only limited to the owners imagination. Horse blankets tied on with rope to ruffled tututs it was all to be seen.

Chestnuts were roasting over an open fire, and smores were toasting over an open flame, an added bonus you get to warm your freezing hands. Want to warm your insides? Hot chocolate was a popular choice; but you could try gloog, hot buttered rum, or a warm chocolate-peppermint liquor.

Food was the usual; hot dogs, chili, bar-b-que and turkey legs. A man asked if I wanted to try fry bread. I come from Arizona where fry bread, cooked by the people who created the fried dough, is a staple at fairs. I wanted to try something more Montana like, so I declined and had a bison burger instead.

Musicians were on every corner; guitars, drums, brass instruments and mini bands added to the holiday spirit and to their pockets with the donation thrown into baskets.

It was an eclectic and happy crowd that ushered in the holiday season. The evening ended; where else; the reaaurant where I enjoyed a glass of wine and conversation wih family and the friends I have met in Montana.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Let it Snow

On September 30th when old man winter arrived without invitation I was shocked. I had expected fall; a gentle transition; trees turning brillant red, orange, and yellow. I looked forward to an increasing crispiness in the air, the smell of wood smoked drifting across the land, the first frost on the grass; all followed by a light dusting of snow. The New England fall I had read about is not the fall of the Big Sky state. We plunge into winter with a fury. The temperatures dropped into single digits and snow piled up on leaves that were just beginning to turn colors.

I was not prepared. My coat was a jeans jacket. My shoes loafers with no socks. The Fairy Princess had warned me but I didn't listen.

Old man winter didn't care he was here and he did his best work. The heavy wet snow covered everything, tree branches broke and bushes bent low to the ground as winters blanket coated the still green leaves. That snow melted and the leave turned not the fall colors I was expecting but instead a dirty grey brown. Snow fell again and this snow was light and airy. What I believe skiers call powder. It disappeared, bare ground surfaced.

That was all over two months ago. Now I am an old hand at snow. I have three coats, several scarfs, hats, and two pair of boots. Light snow, heavy snow, 32 degrees to 4 below I'm ready. I don't know about the twenty below, I may become a human icicle.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Opening Day

Opening day went great. There were people waiting to get in the door. I rushed about restocking shelves as merchandise flew off the shelves. No time for pictures.

Here are some pictures from our trip last summer. They have a bit of red.

We visited the four corners area. This is where Az., Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico meet. The dirty tennis shoes of the man of the house are standing in four states at once. They have a spot of red on the lable.

The flags are flying in a stiff breeze. It wasn't cold, but very windy.

More Ruby Tuesday here.

Heat is on tonight. It's -4 already. Burr! Burr!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tired but Happy

Worked for the 14th day in a row. Nine hours today. Having a great time but tired. It is exciting. We open the new thrift store tomorrow. Displays had to be finalizes. Bathroom had to be scrubbed, that job went to the man of the house. Bank counted. Backstock ready to go. Visit soon for pictures and opening day stories.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

His an her turkeys. The Restaurant Slave Driver deep fried his, while the Fairy Princess roasted hers with oranges and rosemary.

Two cousins battling it out. Gracie is bigger but Boss is holds his own.

You had to wade through dogs in the yard and in the kitchen.

It was a great day. Hope you all had a an enjoyable time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gas Pump

An old fashioned gas pump. I'll bet gas was not $2.50 a gallon when this was operating. I remember when a fiver would fill my 56 Chevy and and still buy a soda and hamburger. Oh for the good old days.

More Ruby Tuesday here.

New Job

I have a new job. Montana has been good to me. Three jobs in six months. To read about the first job go here. That job slowed down and I got a second job read here about the second job and my adventures.

Which brings me to job number three. I have accepted the position of General Manger at two locale thrift stores. The revenues from these stores support the Help Center; a sexual abuse counseling center, suicide hot line and other help projects.

What a great opportunity, give something back to society and I get to work in a thrift store. I am big on thrift stores. I believe one man's trash is another man's treasure. Going to my own personal treasure chest eveyday, what a joy.

I will miss hearding chickens.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I got a little behind last week. It was my birthday on Monday and I started a third job that day. More on that later lets jump back to last Saturday the 14th.

Football was the name of the game and we were glad we came.
Mother Nature had dumped three feet of snow earlier in the week, but hearty Montanans won't let a little snow stop their fun.
Hundreds of volunteers plowed, shoveled and sweatted; LOL it's below freezing every day; to remove snow from field and stands. The above section got left out.

The Fairy Princess, Crown Prince, his Fair Lady and the Shining Knight are enjoying the game.

Our team Won! Yahoo! It was a fun day for all except the other team.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me

Just had a wonderful evening with the fairy princess and restaurant slave drive. They surprised me with Sushi. It was real fun reminiscing, even though with haven't lived close for twenty years we have a lot of shared memorises. I felt at home tonight even thou I am away from many I love.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Land of Oz

Now I feel like Dorthy. I'm not in Arizona anymore. I walk around in wonder at this new environment. The snow fell all day, some of the drifts were as tall as the children. One of my little marshmallows fell over and was sticking half in and half out of a snow bank, I had to dig her out.

My car had to be dug out of a snow prison last night. The snow plows had blocked me in.

On our walk this morning I was traipsing through snow up to my knees. Boss just gave up and sat down. I had to do a lot of pulling and sweet talk to get him moving again.

This is no place like home.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nature Notes

Another day in Montana

Next job get snow off truck, so I can get to work.

Boss had to go so off we went into the falling snow. They said the accumalation was 2-4" but Boss was in up to his belly.

The snow was so deep I could not tell where sidewalk ended. Fell twice but the snow is soft.

More Nature Notes here

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

This quilt caught my eye because I am always looking for red.

More Ruby Tuesday here

Monday, November 9, 2009

Michelle Going Organic

Michelle Obama has committed an act which has people in an uproar. Did she make a rude remark? No! Did she wear non appropriate clothes? No! Did she snub someone? NO! She simply decided to plant a garden. This decision has agribusiness shouting and thumping their chest. The problem, she is advocating organic practices.

Agribusiness contends that conventional farming produces food that is wholesome, flavorful and more economical. That is true if you like the flavor of hexythiazox. I am not sure what that is but it is one of the ingredients on the chemical fertilizer at the store.

I had to go look at the package because I have been an organic gardener for over thirty years. A friend gave me a copy of organic gardening and I was hooked. To take produce and yard waste and watch it turn into rich brown mulch is fascinating, and guess what? It is free. I never had to spend money on fertilizers.

As to more flavorful, I can't even bring myself to eat a tomato I didn't grow. Why waste the time and money? It taste like cardboard.

The transportation industry says producing local is a charming concept but not practical. What if you want grapes in February. To that I say eat raisins. Our grandparents preserved food for the winter and ate local and seasonal. They were healthy and slimmer than we are today.

So I say to Michelle go for it. It would benefit all if we had a little kitchen garden or even a few plants on a patio.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nature Notes

Some scenery on our camping trip from Arizona to Montana. These were all taken in June.

More Nature Notes here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Walking Boss

When we lived in Arizona I had only to stumble to the door and let Boss out. He would spend whatever time he wanted in the backyard then curl up in his favorite chair on the back porch. Many mornings he did not lift his head from the bed until 8:00.

Now I have get out of bed pull on three layers of clothes and be drug through the snow on the end of my leash. You read that right. He is in control. He decides which way to go and when to stop and smell the grass, dog poop, or whatever.

Does he wait to 8:00? NO! He is up this morning at 6:10 demanding a walk. And I do mean demanding, first he grabs and tugs at my foot, then he barks, if I haven't moved he jumps on the bed and sticks his nose right in my face.

It is dark at 6:00 so I am stumbling through the grass hoping I miss the dog poop from the 200 other dogs that live here. Boss he doesn't care he has so much energy. That crazy fellow jumped into a stream this morning chasing ducks. It was 24 degrees out. Who is this guy? He use to not even want to go outside if we had a sprinkle.

One good has come out of this. I am getting more exercise. I just wish it wasn't at 6:00 AM! Don't know who Boss is? Meet him here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Snarling Beasts

Yesterday I calmed a herd of snarling beasts. The moon is full and I think the gremlins and goblins floating around on Halloween decided to stay and see what mischief they could cause. They took on human host, my children, and arrived at preschool yesterday lusting for trouble.

Such pushing, hitting, poking and hair pulling I have never seen. All accompanied by the inevitable crying. The struggles were everywhere and toys littered the room like the dead leaves on the ground outside. Attention span was about the same as a fly as they buzzed from place to place trying to find an outlet from the beast within.

Missiles began to go off in my head, hands clenched and heart pounded as my own beast raised its ugly head. I knew the explosion had to be controlled, so I took them to pretend land. I waved my magic wand and turned them all into princes and princesses. The castle then fell into rest land as they laid down. I had them do some deep breathing and then very quietly began to tell of floating clouds, shaped like flowers and sweet little kitty cats and rainbows. A calmness came over the room, everyone was still, no small achievement with sixteen two and three year old.

As they sat up and began to dress for outdoors they remained calm and rushed out to play. I sighed with relief. I had tackled the evil demons and banished them from the castle. Hope they aren't back today.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

This sexy lady greeted us at a resort town in New Mexico. She is set for a day on the lake.

More Ruby Tuesday here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Saturday I attended an expo for and about women. There were exhibitors with anything you can think of related to women. Home depot was giving instruction for those who want to do it themselves. There was a huge amount of information on massage and natural healing. Candles, green friendly were prevalent.

Do you know there is a chocolate that has as much antioxidants as vegetables. At least that is the claim. Eat one square of this delicious chocolate and it is equal to a bowl of spinach. I have to admit I was a bit sceptical, but hey why not give it a try.

One booth was called the PMS project. They asked if I would like to interview. I told them that was part of my past. They were interested in hearing my memories of that time of my life.

As the questions were asked things came out of my mouth that I didn't even know were in my head. Here is a brief summary of some of the question and my answers.

Did you ever feel your feeling were discounted because of PMS?

Oh Yes! many times my real feelings were ignored by family and friends because she's on her period, or she is getting her period.

How did that make you feel?
Very sad and undervalued.

How did that effect your life?
I think I could have been happier If my feelings had been acknowledged. Just because I'm hormonal does not mean that my feelings on a situation would be different. Hormones are not the only force that directs how we perceive or handle a situation.

What would you like to share with others?
This time will pass and things will get better. You then a have other problems like dry sagging skin, but those emotional roller coasters are on a more even keel.

I will be interested to see this film if I get the opportunity. It was a project of a film student. I thought it an unusual topic, but something ever women can relate to.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Head Cold

Well the power breakfast didn't work. I have a doosy of a head cold. The coughing is racking my ribs and my nose can't decide if it wants to be stuffy or, well that is about all you want to hear. Let's just say I am under the weather.

This little man greeted us at a hamburger joint. He looks like the waiters on trains to me. Maybe in a former life he held elegant pastries or confections for departing guest. Looks as if now he get what ever is thrown on him. Still doing his job just the circumstance has changed. It happens!

More Ruby Tuesday here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Leaves

The heavy snow and low temperatures of early October killed all the leaves. Alas there will be no fall foliage pictures to share. The leaves all turned brown and have now filled the sidewalks and streets with their decaying presence.

What could have been a tedious chore was turned into a game on Friday. A teacher racked the leaves into a pile as the children gathered handfuls to fill a pumpkin bag. I have filled these with newspapers in Arizona, I never realized they had a real purpose. Thus the name leaf bag, LOL! The leaves created a much better round pumpkin than my newspaper stuffing. The children laughed, and ran eagerly to fill the growing bag. Leaves were tossed into the air with abandon and fell into hair and on clothes. A roll in the pile was enjoyed by several. What fun it was to watch this childhood ritual that I have only read about. My new environment is filled with an array of previously unknown experiences. Sharing these with the children under my care gives me a child like wonder at my everyday world.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nez Perce

On October 5, 1877 Chief Joseph surrendered to the US Calvary near Chinook, now Montana. His tribe had battled 2000 soldiers. He is quoted as saying "Here me my chiefs, I am tired my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more." This is a monument to that event, located in Dead Indian Pass.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Power Breakfast

Temperatures in the teens, chasing two year olds, walking Boss four times a day, and many runny noses made me decide I needed a power breakfast. First pomegranate-cranberry juice, full of vitamin c and helps lower blood pressure. Next a bowl of oatmeal cooked in skim milk; Calcium and D; loaded with fiber and protein this stick to the rib cereal will keep me going all morning. Throw in a few pumpkin seed and you get some much need magnesium and additional fiber. Sprinkle on some cinnamon, helps control blood sugar and helps reduce bad cholesterol. Throw in some chopped apple it provided natural sweetness, an everyone knows an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Bring it on winter! I'm ready

More Ruby Tuesday here.

Herding Chickens

Last week proves that life is unpredictable and an old dog can learn new tricks. The weather has been cold and snowy all week. That means children have to wear outdoor gear to play outside. This is hearty country, snow is a fact and we don't let a few flurries or even a few inches stop our lives. Temperature twenty-two, no problem, just dress warmly and have a good time.

My challenge to get eight two and three years old dressed for outdoor play. Remember this is a woman who has not even zipped up a coat in twenty years. Snow pants? How do these boots fasten? What, you need a hat and a snow hood? The names have been changed to protect me.

Susie has all her outdoor gear on, snow pants zipped up, coat buttoned, hat snug over ears, hands snuggled into gloves and snow boots laced with pants tucked in. She is ready to go. Now for Tommy, we go through the same process only problem his boots are tight and we struggle to get his feet in. In the mean time John is trying to climb the shelves to get his favorite toy. I drop Tommy just in time to catch John. Tommy has now taken off the boots we just worked so hard to put on. Seems taking things off is more fun and easier than putting them on. Mary comes over crying because Bobby hit her. I give her a hug and wipe her nose. Then back to Tommy's boots.

Garrett, Katie, and Lucy impatient and bored decide to play puppies and start crawling around the room barking. They tumble into one another and Lucy the smallest is knocked over and bumps her head on the floor, this starts her howling. I race to get her an ice pack for her owee and Katie and Susie decide to join in the crying session. I try to distract Katie by putting her things on. It works and she is dressed without mishap.

I gave them all their snow pants and told them to put them on at the beginning. Some will try others will not. John who is older has his on. I quickly help him with coat, hat and gloves. The gloves just won't go on. Frustrated I say something to the other teacher she glacnces over and says "you have then on the wrong hand." I make the change, things work so much better when you do them right.

Four down and four to go. Susie who has been waiting patiently decides she is ready, why wait, and heads out the door. Her friends ready or not follow. I run to the door and herd them all back into the room. They are admonished and instructed to wait until everyone is dressed for outdoors.

Mary and Bobby just need help with zippers, that is sometimes an easy task sometimes not. There are the zippers that stick and the ones that go up but fail to hold the jacket together. The zippers that refuse to move and the ones that pull the bottom of the jacket toward the top. Zipper with pulls to small for big fingers and zippers with pulls on the inside of the jacket.

Finally success, they look like little marshmallows all bundled in their pink, blue and red snow suits. Everyone is dressed and ready to play. Susie says " someone is stinky". We ask "is it you"? she replies "no." Now comes the sniff test to see if you can locate the source of the offending smell. It's Lucy. Off comes your coat, gloves, hat,and scarf. Off comes Lucy's hat, coat gloves etc., etc., etc.,

Such are the challenges of living in Montana.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Life moves so fast it is sometimes hard to keep up. If I'm out doing it is difficult to find time to blog. If I stay home I have nothing to talk about.

A few weeks ago we went to Woofstock. This is an event for humans and their canine owners to have fun. Yes, I said that right. He is the Boss, otherwise I would not have been out of bed this morning at 7 AM in 6 degree weather taking him for a walk. But back to Woofstock. The humane society puts on this event to raise awareness and make money. There were games, prizes, and food both for people and dogs. A few cats attended but as most are not prone to socializing the majority of participants were dogs.

A lot of sniffing was going on.

Boss made some new friend even some or the dinosaur variety.

The talent contest. The performers had to be bribed to show off there skills.

These two look a lot like Boss's cousins Gracie and Max.

We all had a good time and went home with a few doggie treats.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nature Notes Thursday

We had our third snowstorm in a week yesterday. It snowed all day. This is out my balcony this morning.

frost on the pumpkin
falls glory pushed aside
winter wonderland

More nature notes here

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

There are many kinds of berries here. I wish I knew what they were and if edible. I might make jelly.

These first two photos were taken last week.

I took this one today.
More Ruby Tuesday here