Thursday, May 6, 2010

Montana Winter Ain't Over Yet

Old Man Winter beat Jack Frost to the punch and dumped a ton of snow on September 29th. Instead of falls glory of colors we were treated to dull grey brown leaves. The tree branches broke from the heavy wet snow. Winter was here and we had to learn to cope. The snow continued and the ground remained covered with its white blanket.  We fell into the rhythm of  a Montana winter. Dressing for outdoors included hat, scarf, coat and boots, no running to the mail box in your house coat. Going anywhere was a whole new ritual. After bunndling up, the car  had to be started, the snow brushed off and then the windows and mirrors scraped.. Driving slowly became  necessary.  These extra chores had to be considred when timing you arrival at work.

Walking Boss took on a new routine, The paths we had enjoyed in the summer disappeared and the creek froze over.  Our walks were around the apartment building sidewalks which by law had to be shoveled. Here you can be fined if you do not shovel the snow from your home or business sidewalks. When we came in from outdoors my baby had to be toweled dry, his paws pressed into warm water to help melt the snow . He did not like the water dip so I just rubbed his paws with a towel to remove the snow.

As the days shortened and the temperatures dropped I was not anxious to go out at 6:30  for his morning walk. I bought doggy potty pads and put them in the corner. My little man was to well trained, he knew he did not go in the house so he would sit by the bed and yawn or shake his collar. If I did not respond he jumped on the bed and stuck his nose in my face.  I gave up and resigned myself to walks in the dark with temps in the teens or worse.

That started  eight months ago, I would like to say it's over for a few months. Not!!! We woke up to three inches of snow this morning.  Life in Montana will either kill you or make you stronger. Scene from my balcony. 


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Arizona to Montana

Woke to overcast skies and big white flakes. The car was already buried under inches of snow. I don't understand how they measure snow but it looked like a lot to me. It is three o'clock and the flakes are still fast and furious. For a woman who didn't wear a coat for forty years it's a different world. How did I get here? Read more of my journey Wildcat to Bobcat here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wildcat to Bobcat

In March of last year I started this blog. So much has changed in that year. You never know where life will take you. To recap the year and  and explain my journey I thought I would link some of the post from the last year. If you are intrested in how I went from Wildcat to Bobcat  follow the links below.The Blog begans.

Camping Vacation leads to new life.

Why I stayed in Montana

 Saga to be continued...............

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March or October

What month is this anyway?  The scene outside my sliding has looked the same for six months. Well it changes a little. Sometimes there is no snow on the trees. The ground began to appear last week but Old man winter blew his top again last night. Two new inches on the ground this morning. Read about my first snow fall here


Monday, March 1, 2010

March Facts

Flower: Jonquil

Gemstone: Bloodstone

Beware the Ides of March:.  March 17th the day Julius Caesar was murdered

March Roars in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.

March winds and April showers bring May flowers

As mad as a march hare: Hares mating show strange behavior.

Was the first month in the Roman Calendar named after Mars God of War

Saint Patricks Day March 15

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Banana Nut Muffins

This winter I have fallen on the ice twice. This totally knocked my body out of whack causing pain in my shoulders and neck. The pain was so bad in my arms I could not lift them more than a few inches. A co- worker suggested that my diet was causing the arthritis pain. I asked what I should change and she told me to try a gluten free diet. I immediately resisted, after all man has consumed wheat for thousands of years. It was a staple in most diets.

Then I began to think about the wheat today compared to what my grandparent made their bread with. We strip out the nutrients and then add in fake ones. I also considered what was more important; to eat that hot dog bun or feel better. I decided I could do anything for a week or two to see if I felt better.

So on February 9th I stopped eating gluten. I am happy to report that I can now raise both arms over my head without pain. I don’t know if this is because of the diet change or other factors but I am going to experiment with this diet.

In the process I learned there were many flours that were gluten free. I love to bake and frequently eat muffins for breakfast. They are a quick out the door on the way to work morning treat. So the recipe below was my first attempt. They turned out great. The man of the house thought them a tad dry so maybe I will add more bananas in the future.

3 ripe bananas
1/3c. olive oil you could use any but I always cook with olive oil.
½ c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
1c. Red Mill all purpose baking flour(gluten free variety)
½ c. Red Mill brown rice flour
1c. nuts
Whisk together oil and bananas till no lumps remain. Stir in sugar, egg and vanilla.
Combine flours, baking soda and nutmeg
Stir together dry and wet ingredients
Add nuts (optional_
I like small muffins so only fill about half full.
Bake 400 degrees ( It only took about 15 minutes to bake.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wash Day

Remember the nursery rhyme this is the way we wash our clothes all on Monday morning. There was a task for each day of the week. All my task fall on Saturday or Sunday which ever one I have off. Today is baking, cooking for the week and washing.

As I was washing some dish towels in the sink I thought of Grandma. Yes the sink, a load of laundry cost $1.50 to wash and $1.50 to dry, so to conserve I wash things in the sink. Granted I bought lobster tails for Valentines day, so I am not always frugal. You have your properties I have mine.

Grandma is the person who taught me to be tight with my pennies and nickels. She also taught me how to wash clothes the old fashioned way. On laundry day a number 10 tub was filled with hot soapy water. The clothes were sloshed up an down with a stick. Very tiring to ten year old arms. Then they were put through a roller to squeeze out the dirty water. Next they were plunged into a clean tub filled with warm water. After more stirring the rinsed clothes were again put through the roller and into cool sparkling well water,
the final rinse. One last time tired arms turned the wooden handle of the old fashioned machine and out rolled fresh clothes. These were hung on the line to let the sun and flower scented air dry and complete the process. A busy long day over, dinner was leftover cornbread soaked in warm milk delivered by our neighbor from his evening milking. Nothing every tasted better. As some say hunger is the best sauce.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I wrote this a few weeks back. I have a fear of posting these days because my spelling skills are so poor. I have tried for years but I can not hear the sounds clearly. Dexyspica (sp) runs in my family. I even played this third grade computer game where you choose the sounds. I failed most of the time. I was hoping google would put spell check back up, but that does not seem to be happening. I am going to post anyway. If someone can tell me how to spell check in blogger I will be grateful.
In this economy everyone is trying to save a buck. This is much different than the over the top indulgance of a few years ago. Even thought I have always been a thrifty peson I too was caught in a spending spree. It's to hot, lets eat out. I'm tired, let's eat out. I need a new pair of shoes, I don't have a green pair. I need five swimsuits for the cruise, I can't wear the same one everyday.
Economic colapase and unemploument for a year  brought me to a new place. I have returned to the basics and a simpler lifestyle. We don' t eat out as much. Beans are on the menu at least twice a week. Clothes can be worn a lot longer than you think, if you aren't concerend with the latest fashion.

The new year started along with a new job. We can spend money again! I don't want to return to the indulegent spending of a few years ago. I now have a different set of values in place. When mom's house burned, I told her she lost only things. The things I value most were still there. Her! Her friends and the community around her. They have all come together to provide the material things needed for living and  support and comfort. I am very gratful for the sympthay expressed by the town she has lived in for thirty years and  the internet community I have been apart of for 11 months.Thanks to all for you well wishes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ice Cream

I was walking down the street last week when an ice cream parlor sign caught my eye. The snow on the ground did not matter it was a warm 38 degrees. I went in and ordered a strawberry cone. Sitting outside in the crystal cold world my memory drifted to another time and place.

We are sitting on the porch watching the cars go by. Grandpa takes out his handkerchief and wipes his brow. “Whew it’s a warm day,’ we rock and listen to the bees buzz lazily by. “I need refreshment Marcia how about an ice cream." “Yes! Yes”, I reply. The aging gentleman rises from his rocking chair and slips his hand into mine. Great grandpa and child set off down the street. As we walk Grandpa talks about the world around us, “The dogwoods are blooming, the hydrangeas are in full color, Miss Cora is a nice soul works with the invalids every week. The pecans are just bursting into bloom, hope we have a good crop this year. Good day Miss Lulu Bell. That’s a fine woman, raised a good brood. She’s a second cousin you know. Oh good afternoon Reverend Hill that was a fine sermon Sunday.” "Glad you enjoyed it Mr. Lee.” “Well we did.” “It was good to see you all in church.” “I was happy to have my family around me.” Reverend Hill stooped down, “I was pleased to see you in church Sunday.” “Thank you sir,” I replied. Tipping his hat he walked away.

We continued toward the ice cream. Miss Daisy, Miss Barbara and Miss Emily all passed and exchanged pleasantries; I was just anxious to get to the ice cream, but Grandpa had to stop and chat and accept the respect of his community. At last the store. “I’ll have a double vanilla, said Grandpa. “What would like Marcia?” “Strawberry,” I replied. A large luscious cone was placed in my hand. My tongue began to rapidly lap up the sweet concoction. The smooth coolness flowed over my tongue and refreshed my whole body. Grandpa and I sat outside under a tree. He said, “Marcia Ice cream is a pleasure to be enjoyed under the shade of a tree on a hot day.” I agreed. After licking the last bit of sweetness we began our trek home. A warm sticky hand was again pressed into an aging one. We had shared an adventure and our souls were secure in our togetherness.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pain Beats Out Fashion

Last week I awoke to the sound of dripping. Ah, the spring Equinox. No  matter that the calender read January, it was a warm day above freezing, and the snow was melting. I had a workshop to attend and wanted to look professional. My black skirt was perfect with my white blouse and grey cardigan. Those clunky boots would look terrible, why not wear my professional shoes.

The day was so warm I did not even need a coat. I walked confidently out the front door. As I stepped down the first step my feet flew out from under me. I landed on my bottom and then bouced to the second step. It was several minutes before I could get up. Afraid to move or even stand in my slippery shoes I slid them off my feet. I very carefully walked in the snow skirting the black ice that had been my downfall. I returned to the house my shoulder throbbing. I was not going to miss the workshop, I had payed good money to attend, so I pulled on my boots and ignored my pain. I walked into the meeting a little late draggind my wounded wing.

My left arm will not lift above my waist and my body still feels crunched and achy. I am sure nothing is broken. Lucky me, lession learned! I will be wearing the safe clunky boots till summer Equinox.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Does the Media Inform or Incite

The news from Haiti is devastating, lack of basic necessities, thousands of bodies and utter chaos. We see pictures and hear reporters but what is the real story? I hear over and over that food is there but not getting to the people. I never hear why. Hundreds of first responders are on the ground but medical treatment is scarce. I never hear why. Bottled water has been shipped but water is selling for $8 dollars a bottle. I never hear why.

I wish the reporters would report the news in an accurate manner. I learned in Journalism class you report who, what, when, where and why!!! We never get the why. The reporters I am sure are not going without water or food. So if they can get in to get pictures why can’t they deliver water or food? The news media exploits tragedy for their own gain and does not contribute to the rescue effort.

I felt the same way during Katrina. Reporters sloshing through dank waters showing us scenes to break your heart but not helping anyone. Why don’t the news stations help the effort and report on the good effort they and others are doing, rather than focusing on the things not getting done. Please tell us why.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Day Begans

It was a cold snowy January day, the sun  was just peeking over the horizone. I felt my arm being jostled and someone calling my name. I snuggled deeper into the covers and said "go away". "You have to get up and feed the baby while your mom  fixes breakfast." said daddy. I groaned and tumbled out of bed. My feet slid into my furry pink slippers as I grabbed my matching  robe. I staggered down the hallway to the family room. Mom sat by the window, her newest bundle of joy in her arms. I walked over and Mom handed me my baby sister. She wailed as the bottle was removed from her mouth, I quiclkly gave her the bottle and  she continued her breakfast.

I rocked the precious newcomer as I gazed upon her face. She had big brown eyes, long dark lashes rested on soft pink cheeks. Her blond hair was wispy around her heart shaped face. The little rose bud mouth suckled eagerly at her mornings nourshiment.

Mom surried into the adjoining kitdchen and soon I could here the sizzle of bacon. As the aroma of the succlent meat wafted across the house  the rest of my siblings arrived in the kitchen. Kate helped set the table as Annice and Roy came over to look at their younger sister. "You need to burp the baby" said mommy. I placed my sister on my shoulder and began to pat her back. She let loose with a burp that would have rivled a beer guzzling couch potato. Mom announced that breakfast was ready. I placed the doll in her bassinett and she began to gently snore.

The family  gathered around the table and daddy said the blessing. We dove into pancakes drizzled with Mrs. Butterworth's maple syrup. Crispy bacon was quickly gobbled up. Roy stole a piece from Annice when she wasn't looking. All was washed down with cold fresh milk delivered to our door that morning by Mr. Cady from the local dairy.

Breakfast overr the flurry of activity began as we all took turns brushing our teeth, Cries of ouch were heard as mom combed out snarls of  hair, "It's the price you pay to be pretty " was the reply if you protested to much.

Dresses pulled over head and saddle oxfords  tied we were ready to meet the world. Kisses all around, one for the new baby and we were out the door and off to another day at school.

Happy Birthday baby sister.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Snow Snowwwwww


The song from White Christmas let it snow. My favorite movie. This year I got white Halloween, White Thanksgiving and White Christmas. Be wary of what you wish for.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Doggie Children

The fairy princess's newest baby.

Sniffing cousins.

Don't you want to play?
I need a rest from all this family.