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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Roam If You Want To…

Posting from: Philipsburg, MT

I found a cool map today that lets you map all the states you’ve visited. Here’s mine:

visited 26 states (52%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or Like this? try: Triposo Travelhacks

As an afficianado of the Great American Roadtrip, I have been to every single one of these states in a car- all but five of them in my current beloved vehicle, Penny, my Honda Element. I love her. She has helped me see some awesome sights and have some incredible experiences including:
-Niagara Falls
-Mount Saint Helens
-Hungry Horse Dam
-putting my feet in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans plus
-visting lighthouses, lighthouses, lighthouses
-Snoqualmie Falls
-a giant Jolly Green Giant statue
-sharing space with tiny creatures in tidepools in California
-the biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota
-the Troll in Seattle
-the Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park, complete with Matt Nathanson and Tom Petty
-meeting Matt Nathanson at the House of Blues in Chicago
-the Art Institute of Chicago
-meeting literally dozens of new people around the country who I knew only from the internet

I think buying Penny was quite possibly the smartest purchase I have ever made.

It seems quite possible that I own the Honda Element with the most miles on it in the entire world. I purchased her new (16 miles on the odometer) in late 2003, and I have 241K+ miles on her. Anyone have more?

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April 14 To Do List

Posting from: Philipsburg, MT
Listening to: The Vapors, Turning Japanese

1. Finish taxes.

2. Write 350-500 word Point article in support of Resolved: Cookie Monster Would Be Good At Oral Sex for publication with my sister’s Counterpoint. Note to self: Kick ass.

3. Shop this week’s grocery sales before they end at midnight.

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I Love Coffee Shops

Posting from: Missoula, MT
Listening to: violins, something lovely and classical

I am sitting in City Brew in Missoula.

To my left a twenty-something girl is sitting with her friend bawling about a recent break up. A little part of me wants to tell her that while life sucks right now, it’s going to be okay. A year from now or even less everything can be alright or even better than it ever has been. Oh, well. I’ve been there. She wouldn’t believe me anyway.

To my right is a woman who seems to be talking to herself. She is busily applying piece after piece of scotch tape to pictures in a magazine and berating herself: Butt out, it’s none of your business. I just need to get these pieces of tape on straight. Stop interrupting me. Would you just be quiet. I don’t want to hear anything else out of you. You’re always criticizing.

Last week or so in this very same coffee shop, a midget walked in about a half hour before closing and proceeded to sit down or stand very close to each of the customers observing them very closely. He never bought anything.

There’s just so much interesting people-watching and eavesdropping in coffee shops. CNN’s on in the corner, but there’s really no need for television here.

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Posting from: Missoula, MT
Listening to: The Merry Macs, Mairzy Doats

I am putting together my garden plans for the upcoming season and getting ready to start seeds indoors. I will be giving the Square Foot Gardening technique a whirl. I have all the materials purchased to build two 4X4 square foot gardens with trellises for vertical growing in the back row of each. I have modified a design I found in that book to make it as disassemblable as possible for easy winter storage. Hopefully, when I get to building the things, I will be able to post a material list, a line-item list of what it all cost, instructions, and step-by-step pictures of how to do it.

So far I have seeds for six varieties of heirloom tomatoes plus deals to trade for one more tomato variety and a lettuce variety. I also have mustard seed that I didn’t get planted last season. This year I would also like to add spinach, some potatoes, strawberries, more greens, possibly pickling cucumbers, maybe some green beans, turnips, carrots, maybe some onions, possibly corn, a small melon of some sort, possibly a pumpkin variety, and some more pepper varieties (I have two healthy habanero plants).

The tomato varieties I have are:
Siberian Tomato
Black from Tula Tomato
Silvery Fir Tree Tomato
Giant Syrian Tomato
Italian Heirloom Tomato
Hillbilly Potato Leaf Tomato

If anyone would like to trade seeds, please post a comment about what you have and/or what you want. This is an effort in increased self-sufficiency so I am really only interested in heirloom seeds. I am not interested in copyrighted or patented food that I can’t propogate.

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A Little Bit of Bragging

Posting from: Philipsburg, MT
Listening to: Matt Nathanson, Car Crash

I am going to brag just a little bit today.

I feel somewhat justified because I have gone from being the world’s worst gardener to being somewhat competent. When I lived in Arizona, I used to be unable to keep anything alive for more than a few weeks (and most of them did not last that long) except for a few native plants that required only that I leave them the hell alone to do their own thing. Now here it is the first day of February in Montana and I have three tomatoes on the vine and four habaneros on one of my pepper plants plus rosemary and thyme growing nicely. Here are two ripening tomatoes and two of my habaneros:

Tomatoes in Montana in February

Habaneros in Montana in February

Today I’ll be clearing a shelf in my pantry so I can hang a fluorescent light in there for starting seeds in a couple of weeks. I am going to have a KICKASS GARDEN this summer!

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Posting from: Missoula, MT

A few days ago, a couple of babies were born at my friends’ place. Mother and babies are doing fine.
Flopsy and Her Kids

However, this necessitated the sudden acquisition of extra bedding for the kids. Bedding, in this case, is also yummy hay which all of the goats love. They couldn’t wait to get at it.
Snack Time

We had to get the goats off the truck in order to get the hay out of the back. Pulling them off proved ineffective because they would hop back on as quickly as they were chased off. We ended up with one person pulling them off while three of us threw snowballs at the goats already off the truck to keep them from hopping back on. Eventually we were able to get them going back to their pen.
Getting the Goats Out of the Way

After that, the hay was dislodged by anchoring it to a Jeep and then driving the truck out from underneath it.
Dislodging the Snack

We wrapped some fencing around the hay to slow the goats down a little bit. Flopsy, the new mom, is in the foreground eating some hay we pulled out for her since she is easily pushed aside by the other goats.
Flopsy in the Foreground

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Posting from: Missoula, MT
Listening to: Greg Laswell, Sing, Theresa Says

Sunday was my birthday. I’m 36. Other than feeling a little more square, it’s not much different from 35. As usual, year 35 upheld my tradition of the years of my life that are divisible by 5 being extremely good years. 16 and 21 sucked, but 15 and 20 were fabulous!

I got a lot done this year. I quit my job. I cashed out my 401K before the stock market tanked. I moved. I put my house on the market. I am so much happier. My main goal for this year is to be rid of my house, preferably by selling it. I have some other goals, but so long as that one is completed, I will be happy with my progress in my 36th year. Once that is done, I will be SUPER DUPER HAPPY. Anyone want to move to a small town near Tucson, AZ?

As for the celebrating, I put on my tiara and headed over to the Sunshine Station in Philipsburg where I had an excellent birthday breakfast. No better way to kick off another year of middle age than with bacon, I say.

Then I took J. and his daughter I. to Missoula so we could go get my birthday ice cream and picture. The plan was to bring back a pint for S. and C. who stayed behind. We did some loss-leader shopping at the grocery stores for their family, and then we got dinner at a nice little local Baja-style Mexican fast food chain called Taco Del Sol. Yummy fish tacos! Their hot sauce was not good, though. It tasted like hot vinegar- not much flavor other than the vinegar. Fortunately, I did not have that on my taco- only on my beans and rice which I couldn’t finish anyway because the taco filled me up nicely.

I think after that was our stop at a local Missoula independent record store called Ear Candy Music. You get your choice of vinyl or CDs. I didn’t find any Warren Zevon, but J. after talking with the guy who gave him a tour of the store found a song he has been trying to find for 7 or 8 years now. He special ordered the CD for his upcoming birthday. Very cool. The record store guy was knowledgeable, competent, friendly, helpful and everything you could possibly hope for in a person in a service job. We loved him for a little while. And after that little while, we have resented him for making us take notice of every sub-standard service experience we have had since then.

After all of this, we were off to what was the whole point of the trip. However, I was a bit bummed for these pansy-ass Montanans put a kink in my birthday plans- and not in the fun, spanky way. 😡

I made the treacherous winter journey from Philipsburg to Missoula and back for one reason and one reason only: I was going to have my picture taken on my birthday which is also the first day of winter eating ice cream outdoors at Big Dipper Ice Cream in Missoula and send it back to my friends in Arizona who thought I would hate the cold here and be on my way back at the first sign of winter.

Big Dipper Ice Cream in Missoula

Ice cream in Montana? Outdoors? In the winter? Can you do that? I went to the website and checked. They are open, it says! Every day of the year except Christmas through New Years. Great! Let’s go!

But when we got there, they were closed. Why? A death in the family? That would be excusable. But were they on medication? Schizophrenic? Do they have leftover baggage from their childhood that prevents them from functioning? These are things which I know from Dmitri the Lover are not good excuses. Especially since there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. Believe it or not, I am a complete catch!

Ahem. Anyway…

We parked and approached the building to investigate further. There was a sign in the window. They are closed because… WAIT. WHAT?

Closed???  Pansies!

THE HELL!!! Did they just suddenly discover this year after 13 years in business that it gets COLD in Montana in the winter? Flying Titty-Fucking Spaghetti Monster! I cannot fucking believe this!

Wait, there’s a phone number on the sign. It says to call in case of ice cream emergencies. I am thirty-six years old and drove up hill both ways in the snow in bare feet to Missoula for ice cream on my birthday. HELL YES THIS IS AN ICE CREAM EMERGENCY! But alas, I only got voice mail. I did, in fact, leave a message and put them on alert that we will be having words in person in January. 😡

I also sent off a message via their contact page informing them of my birthday unhappiness. In response, a nice person named Charlie has corrected the information on the web page, and he is sending me an ice cream gift card. That was very nice.

We swung by the Good Food Store in Missoula after the No Ice Cream Debacle and picked up a couple of pints- including some Big Dipper pints- and ate ice cream in the cafe at the store. I also got myself some birthday flowers which are gorgeous and holding up nicely in their vase at home.

Once we got home to Pburg, we stopped in at the Sunshine Station where I had a birthday drink before I went home.

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