Monday, February 28, 2011

A Day on the Road

Today was a busy day that involved an hour long drive South, and a return trip back North before heading and hour and a half out East and back. It was a day of at least 280 miles driven! I didn't mind though. The afternoon was pleasant enough and the ever-changing weather kept it interesting. With the music cranked I sang along like a fool and the minutes sped by. Train after train was backed up on the tracks that parallel the highway. Workers were busy at all sorts of junctions welding and what not. I am so curious what the problem was! At least three extremely long trains were either crawling or completely stopped all headed the same way on the same limited track. Bamboo flooring and coal were two of the loads they were carrying. I find trains so interesting. :) As I continued closer to my destination today, the mountains started to wander off and the valley opened up wide. I like that area. It reminds me of the highline but less scary with the mountains still in view. (I've gotta have at least a few on the horizon!) The foothills roll down covered in shrubs before descending to the wheat fields. The texture of the ranch land is beautiful, all so perfectly woven together. It's as if the mountains have sat down and spread smooth their straw-colored skirts. I was early to my last appointment so I amused myself and wasted time driving down one of the back roads. I cooed silently at the new calves in the fields and day dreamed of the day when the crops would be up and growing again. A stiff wind had followed me on my way and was disturbing the lightest layer of snow. It blew as fast as I drove, casting a cloud of white over scrubby sage bushes and around low orchard trees. It looked like swift fog hovering only a foot about the ground and gave the landscape an eerie, haunted feeling. This country is mesmerizing. I never get tired of the highway when I'm traveling around Montana. :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Photo Challenge: People

Happy Friday everyone! For a short week, it sure has felt long! Today is another Photo Challenge Friday over at RAZMATAZ and the theme is People. I desperately tried to find a photo I took of a local woman, in traditional dress, but couldn't find it! So I chose the following photo also from Peru. We had just got to Lima and were getting used to the new surroundings. As a group we headed to a pizzeria after being coerced with promises of free beer. Ah, but Peruvian beer...well, not a big prize. :) I took this candid shot as my sister was sampling her small glass of free booze. Just doesn't compare to the local micro brews! (It was two days before their Independence Day, hence the "Te amo..." decorations behind us. Gotta love my startled friend on the right too!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Holy Wind Gusts, Batman!

Last night the news kept warning us of another storm approaching. I hit the road at 3:30pm and hoped to be home before it hit. I did well, and enjoyed sunshine most of my trip down the highway. As night came on, however, the wind picked up. All night it blew like a hurricane outside and I wondered when it would ever subside. I awoke this morning at 7:30 and it was still going strong. (Still is!) Wind always freaks me out a little. Maybe it's from distant memories of tornadoes in Denver. Maybe I was a horse in another life. Who knows! I got up and looked outside to see if any limbs from our tree had fallen. A few had snapped but are still suspended by other branches. At least they're small! I had to run a few errands this morning and elsewhere in the area found some "casualties." Took me a second to realize what I was looking at when I stopped across from an apartment complex. Is that tree generally that close to that building...? Nope! We had a huge pine tree topple over and run into the brick building. Snapped off at the stump! Couldn't believe it. I don't think anyone was injured, but they'll definitely have some damages to fix. At least the place is made of brick and is pretty sturdy! I am curious if more events like this occurred around town. What a mess!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Feelin' Western

Lately I've been eager for the snow to subside and Spring to come. Mostly, because when the ice leaves I get to start my horseback riding lessons. A family I met through my study is offering to teach me and I can't wait! Right now the trails are still too slick to give it a go. Darn! I am already armed with cowboy boots, wranglers and cowboy hat. Back it up with some Montana-bred, cowgirl, confidence and I should be a rider in no time! I found a Canadian series on the CW this weekend called Heartland that I fell in love with. Sort of Gossip Girl meets the ranch. LOL. Fluffy drama about horseback riders and rodeos. I'm totally eating it up! My pipe dream is to be a barrel racer so I'm gonna keep on dreaming. It could still happen, right? So, until then I'll keep cranking my country music, and looking forward to warmer weather and sunny days. It's gonna be an awesome Spring! Yee haw!

My boots, me as a little kid loving the Cowgirl look, my favorite hat, and me at the county fair during high school. Gotta love the perm in that one!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mosaic Monday: Furry Friend!

For this Monday's Mosaic I chose a few snapshots of my favorite furry house mate. I've been sick lately so this little fuzzball has been taking good care of me around the house. Originally a stray, this Russian Blue/Manx has now lived with me for about five years. I'm thankful every day that she showed up on my porch all those years ago.

Please go over to Little Red House and see all the other mosaics! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Photo Challenge: Food (Round 2)

I'm teaming up with RAZMATAZ again as we start our weekly Photo Challenges. This week's theme was food once more and my picture may be a little odd. I didn't try to make the food look good, or very interesting. I didn't make it look like a magazine ad. Instead, I captured a food item that is extremely important to me. Ya see, I was a peanut butter addict since childhood. It made up most of my food pyramid. And then, a few years ago, I became allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. It was a sad day when I diagnosed myself. No more delicious peanut butter. There have been stand-ins since, like sunflower seed butter, but it just wasn't the same. Until a week ago when I took a turn down an aisle in Wal-Mart of all places. On a shelf above the Jiffys and Skippys was something called School-safe Soybutter. Wha?! Really? I took it home and pulled out a spoon. That first taste I almost panicked. Is this REALLY soy? Am I gonna die?! Nope! 100% soy, but it tastes just like the real thing. I've had a soybutter sandwich every day since. Hallelujah! Life is good again. :)

I love me some jewel tones!

These photos popped up on AOL today in a news article about the Blond fashion show. I can't help but LOVE them. Who wouldn't want to wear that billowy purple number? And I'm being serious! I'm so attracted to bright, sunny colors like this. Even if I can't wear it to the lab, I love looking at outfits like these. :) They just make me smile! What do you think?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Fun, Festive Weekend!

Friday afternoon rolled around and I had to turn in my old work laptop for a new one. I wouldn't get the new one till Monday though, so I sat at my desk and tried to get creative as to what I could fill the day with sans computer. I cleaned out the drawers to my desk and straightened my half of the lab. Now what? At 1pm I hollered to my lab mate that I was calling it a day. Most everyone else had already left, so why not me? My colleague agreed with the reasoning and we decided to walk home together. As we walked and chatted we couldn't help but notice the enticing scent of one of our local breweries. Time for a beer? Of course! We sipped and chatted more and afterward headed to a bakery so I could get my hands on a cupcake. I had a craving! It was a nice way to spend a Friday afternoon. Once home, I baked a cake and waited impatiently for my sister to show. My mother had been a sneaky little cupid and left us two gift bags on the kitchen counter. I can never open mine without my sister opening hers so I had to wait! Not fair! She finally came home and we looked through the bags. What an assortment of goodies! Candy, some novelties and two hand-made clay hearts. Oh I loved them! Giddy, I went to bed and on Saturday morning I woke refreshed and did a few Valentine's crafts over coffee. One of my Valentine's gifts was a kit for building a little foam house. It was just the kind of silly fun I was looking for to channel my inner child. After the house was done I headed to lunch and a jewelry party with my best friend and then a little shopping was in order. That evening my sister and I headed downtown for a winter brew fest. There's a bit of a beer theme to this weekend I'm noticing...It was a perfect event for people-watching and we tried some amazing brews. After that night of sleeping like a rock, I awoke today and busied myself with my scrapbook supplies to make a few heart-felt valentines. I also bought a box of school valentines to anonymously leave for all my coworkers. (I'll sneak back to work tonight and leave them on their desks!) My sister worked today and left me the house. So quiet! I cleaned and crafted, crafted and cleaned. The place now smells like glue and pinesol. :)It was warm today and as the snow melted I felt like pretending it was summer for an afternoon. I cooked up hot dogs and found some chips and made myself a picnic. I just now painted my nails red and watched an episode of Glee. And now the sun is setting, the house is getting cozy and I am enjoying the company of my furry feline. It has been a pleasant, and very Valentines, weekend over here. I've loved every minute!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rednesday! Farmland

Oh I've been busy lately! Thankfully, a lot of it has been fun! I had a big ski trip this last weekend and work has been keeping me on the road a ton. I'll blog more about the ski trip soon. It was a hoot! Today, though, I'm teaming up with A Very Cherry World again for Rednesday! While I was tooling around the Bitterroot Valley yesterday for work, I found this very pretty red barn at the end of the lane. There was so much new snow, and it was such a pretty day, I had to take a picture!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rednesday! Valentine

I am teaming up with It's a Very Cherry World for Rednesday! There is a lot of red out there right now with it being the month of Valentine's Day. I have a few touches in my house too, be it a heart-shaped pillow, a pack of to-be secret valentines (for my coworkers), or adornments to one of my wreathes for the holiday. I just love Valentine's Day and all the red that goes with! :)

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