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Monday, November 28, 2016

Accidental Bingo

This weekend I went to social knitting at a local yarn store and one of the gals there mentioned that the other night she went to "bingo accidentally". Another knitter and I could not refrain from asking how one goes about going to bingo accidentally and it struck me as there perfect name for a band or blog post. So, I bring you todays offering of Accidental Bingo along with some old photos off the big canon.

The first is from our late summer fun up to Traverse City. We went out towards Old Mission on the peninsula and we stopped to take a look at the old historic light house. We got there just in time as the parking lot was filling up as we were leaving with the boys.

Unfortunately the skies were grey until after we sat out the falling rain while we had pizza at Pangea Pizza in town, huddled with the dogs in their 3 seat beer garden. Don't ask, I don't know.

We have hopes since we've heard people talking about the presents of cranes in the summer that we are not finished hearing these guys on warm mornings. I saw a huge blue heron flying over a small stream here the other day heading home from town, so there's hope that there's more birds around the area than were in Casper.

I snapped these one morning off the deck in Michigan. Stupidly I think I deleted the originals of these photos the other day and now can't blow them up better. Some people...

I know they say we have a lot of these guys in Alaska, but unless you're willing to be out in the mosquito ridden bogs and marshes, you don't often see them. Typically you'd spot them flying over but they have a tendency to stay away from the more populated areas there. Even spotting them at Potters Marsh was a rare treat, despite it's constant population of ducks, swans, and other birds such as Terns and Harriers.

I've seen a harrier over some of the local hay fields several days now. I love how they zoom across the ground at such low altitude for such a big bird, trying to scare hares and other small mammals into running. We saw a ring necked pheasant the other day too, I'm sure an escapee from a hunting farm, and I wondered if a Harrier would take one of them too.

This is a bad picture through two layers of gazebo screening and a window screen of our little Coppers Hawk that liked to try to get our chickens if we hadn't been keeping songbird traffic high with full feeders. It took me a couple times of chasing this guy out of the yard before I realized the connection to empty feeders and seeing him. I doubt he could have taken down a chicken as I think our girls outweighed him, but I'm guessing there was a nest of hungry hawklings somewhere needing food, and hunger talks.

Just the other day we were looking at a red tail hawk and it struck me that I think the ones here are bigger than the ones in Michigan. I thought that when we first moved there, but then thought that I was probably imagining the size difference until we saw one skulking in a tree here. They really do seam substantially larger than the red tails in Michigan.

I think I shared some photos of the praying mantis I had on my cell phone, but I pulled the ones off the canon while I was at it. They're a bit better than the iPhone ones.

Stop with the heebie jeebies, they're just photos. Besides, this girl was hunting the damn box elders. One night I had to have The Guy help me so I could clean one of our windows out that had probably a couple hundred dead beetles in it before the house went on the market. I don't know how they would get under the screens but they would, then roast against the glass and fill up the space between the screen and glass. Ugh, I'll take one of these mighty huntresses anytime.

I mentioned before that at first glance I just thought she was another grasshopper because we had them bad this past summer out near us. I snapped this on the stoop on the same day and as a reference, this guy is at least as long as my index finger and about the same circumference too.

The rest of these are all from Thanksgiving Day when after I got the bird in the pot we went out the Missouri River Headwaters State Park. It was a lovely day for a walk with just a bit of a breeze.

Fort Rock
The park is situated where the Jefferson, and Madison rivers come together to start the beginning of the Missouri river. Some people argue that the Missouri should be marked from it's start at the Brower Spring upstream of the Jefferson and that the Jefferson river is actually still the Missouri, But Lewis and Clark back on July 18th, 1805 decided that neither tributary could be called the Missouri, thus causing a debate as to which river (Missouri or Mississippi) is the longest river in North  America though it has traditionally been understood that the Missouri is. Combined with the Mississippi at the point of convergence, they create the 4th longest river system in the world.

Gallatin river then joins the waters of the Jefferson and Madison less than a mile downstream forming the actual headwaters of the Missouri.

It's a great area to have less than 10 miles down he road to walk the boys. There was only a few other people out there this day. Last week when I decided to take a post interview stroll I wandered through quick and was the only person as it was threatening to snow.

The Bozeman area sits in a wide valley that interrupts a couple of smaller ranges that help to make up the rockies. We live just a ways up the road outside of town and have a great view of the Bridger's and Ross peak from our place that lay directly to the east.

Though not visible from here, on the other side of the Bridger's is another wide valley that is hemmed to the east of it by the Crazy mountains, then to the the south by the Absaroka Mountains that can be seen barely from here.

The Bridger Mountains as seen from the overlook atop Fort Rock.
Next to the west that borders the south of the Bozeman valley is the Gallatin Mountains and then Spanish Peaks.

Way across the valley to the southwest you can then see the crags of the Tobacco Root Mountains.

And then not visible to the north then Elkhorns and the Big Belt Mountains border us in to the valley. Gorgeous country no matter how you look at it and I hope to get these boys out in it as much as possible.

I believe this is the Gallatin Mountains and Spanish Peaks looking south.
Just like Wyoming though, I'll have to make sure that we take care in packing water. We no longer live in a land of ample ground water sources. I better find the dog back packs, eh?

Although it does seem slightly wetter than Casper was, though it's still a fairly arid environment. I've already had to up my moisturizing game and even bought my first chapstick since leaving the west.

I just realized how gray even his back paws are going on me.
The boys seem to have a great time out for a grand romp off leash as they have been on leash and re-learning some of their forgotten manners of being on leash when they're around town. Buttheads.

Actually, it's nothing bad, but they do tend to just be a bit better off leash since that's how they spend most of their time. Tucker in particular seems to forget he is not to pull while on leash.

I'm sure walking here though Sullivan wanted to zoom in that tall grass so bad.

He was still getting over his gut bug from earlier in the week.

And just has he was recovering, Tucker stopped eating and was having runny butt. So The Guy got to take him to the vet while I went to knitting. I swear, what's wrong with my priorities?

Turns out that this guy had the same issue, though not near as bad as the big guy, but since Sullivan is so sensitive, especially his gut, that's not at all surprising.

He's on the mend now to with antibiotics and some extra loving. He's a bit worrisome because he's still less than 70 pounds after his surgery, and though that's easier on his joints he feels to dang skinny and has no real reserves should he get truly ill.

Emmitt was a bit sickly one morning but that seemed to be the end of his issues after coming in from being outside to vomit at The Guy's feet, because nothing says I love you like throw up on your toes. Does it? I'm willing to bet that it was the same bug but Emmitt being a little garbage gut fought it off on his own. I'm wondering if the last round of sickness Shiela had in Casper that caused bloody stools and vomiting was the same bug. It was the only time I was ever worried about her gut as she, like emmitt seemed to be able to handle anything. Even at her age when we had the sickness on our Grand Canyon trip, all three of the other dogs recovered when Sullivan had to go to the vet and go on meds. Of course, the dog that would cost the most due to size would be the one that needs such intervention.

Here's the bustling metropolis of Gallatin City... Amazingly, there's no tumble weeds. The old hotel is the only real building standing still at this point. That's the second in from the left. The other buildings is someones hot, barn ad the interpretive plaza sight. Those are the Gallatin Mountains in the background and I believe a little winding arm of the Gallatin river in the foreground. From this vantage point the Gallatin is toe our left (east) and the confluence of the Jefferson and Madison rivers is across the road directly to our right (west) of us and they join behind us about a half mile to the north. Okay, geography lesson of the day is done. I have some turkey soup to be getting to. The joys of holiday left overs!

That's times upon us and I found this while looking for a full clip of the show where I first heard of these guys. We always need some acapella, right? Well, good Acapella, despite knowing this is a studio version that's been produced heavily.

Here's another of theirs.

This is a part of the clip that I originally wanted but it doesn't have the whole interaction. This is from the show The Sing-Off that was an acapella competition. It was as close to shows like American Idol that I liked.

And for those that know me and know that I don't care for a lot of Christmas songs, this show led me to my favorite rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. I've always liked Jewel's voice, but truly love this performance of hers. Fast forward to about a minute in if you don't want to hear all the banter. That's why I like watching these snippets on youtube and can do exactly that.

And while we;re talking about her and since it popped up, might as well share it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It's about time Q. It's about time...

Some people. They move across the country and don't keep people updated at all as to how life is going in the new location. Well, here goes.

I have a quindecillion photos to share. Okay, so maybe not quite that much. Oh all right, it's only forty-eight, but it feels like that many to me. So I'm just posting them in order that I took them and running from there guys. I actually snapped this shot the last time I took the boys to the two rivers green space for our afternoon stroll. As I was heading back to the car I noticed this tree had a HUGE fungi structure on its trunk and immediately thought of you Betsy. In fact, I think I sent this to you in a text.

Here was a better shot that wasn't fighting the bright autumnal sun. It's a large maple tree that this is on and it was over two feet form top to bottom. I had never seen that large of a mushroom like structure before so I had to snap a quick photo. No idea what type of mushroom it was, but I'm sure it's not a good sign for this aging tree. The section it was on is already dead and I'm sure the other half of the tree isn't that far behind.

Heading home I had to snap a quick shot of the amazing blue sky (a Michigan rarity) and the green grass and gold foliage. I have to say, I'm truly glad we got to see another Michigan fall. Last years was not so great but this year it had lovely color again. I know those scarlets will affect our choices of foliage around our yard because I will truly miss those now that we're back in the land of cottonwoods and junipers.

Through it all I was starting to get the idea that Emmitt is getting a bit used to this moving thing. I mean he only grew up with weekly ferry rides and on time off, always being on the road to some like or adventure or another. This is his 4th state to live in after all. He's a veteran and just couldn't get to worried about moving again, he knows he's going with after all.

This was snapped the day the movers were physically at the house. In fact, over my right shoulder they are wrapping up a piece of furniture with plastic and quilts to take to the truck. And Emmitt couldn't care less. I wish the other two dogs would have followed his example. Sullivan had to keep an eye on everything while pacing the perimeter and Tucker moped and worried about the noises and commotion. Actually, Sullivan at one point decided to go out and lay in a sunbeam because what can be better than building up your vitamin D on moving day?

I guess it says that Emmitt has as much moving experience as me with his relaxed manner and my preparedness for animals mayhem on the road. This is my animal box and was one of the first things sorted away as knew there would be need. What's in such a box you may ask? Well, there's the obvious things like paper towel and stain cleaner. There's also doggy pain pills, muscle relaxers, doggy Imodium  cat chill pills, eye gunk and canine first-aid materials, treats, and all those little things I've wished I had in situations before.

It was a little sad as I followed behind the movers and cleaned rooms before shutting them up and calling it good. I will miss laying in the early morning sun in the bedroom and listening to the cranes calling in the fields around us.

And my bright happy loom room. Hope some kids dig this color and leave it. Doubt it, I know the new owners had 4 boys and they are not likely to dig the marigold. This picture does not do it justice at all. It's much brighter and happier than this looks.

As we got our stuff out, like I said I cleaned up the rooms and closed them off to keep shedding mongrels from leaving a trail of hair behind. We moved our own sleeping stuff (sleeping bags and an inflatable mattress) down to the living room. I think in concern of being left, Tucker quickly tried to make it his bed.

But they had their own sleeping arrangements. Ahhhhh, camping gear. The big guy tried to sleep with us for a bit the first night and I actually woke up having a claustrophobia induced panic... moment. Can't say it was an attack since I realized what was going on and kicked the pooch off our makeshift bed. He had rolled onto me at some point and on the slick nylon sleeping bag material I had become trapped in  the edge and couldn't move. In my sleep my mind started to play with me and I woke up in a sweat with my heart pounding. Poor Sullivan had to return to his own cooshy bed with his brothers. Oh, the trials and tribulations of these dogs.

Saturday I got up and spent the day with my friends at the Great Lake Mens' Knitting Retreat in Delton Michigan which was only 30mins from our place. It was a great day, made better with the twinges of guilt that I left The Guy with all the cleaning while I was off knitting. Actually, I took care of a lot of the cleaning the day before to assuage said guilt. Another night on the floor before Sunday hitting the road after we got up, loaded up the vehicles with dogs, an irritated cat in a box, and hit the road. And it was a beautiful day for it.

In fact, it was a beautiful four days for it. We had sunny skies most of the way. We hit one little patch of rain at the end of the 2nd day crossing the southwest corner of Minnesota as we approached Sioux Falls. 

Made for a beautiful sunset but being hunting season and it killing some of the last light of the day to drive in, I know I worried about deer on the road. We had planned our trip to stay in the light of the day but we got a late start after taking my Aunt Millie out for breakfast as a thank you for letting us stay at her place our first night. She was even nice enough to not mention the cat in the bedroom.

Wowza, that's blurrier than I thought. Hay fields in the dawn sun in South Dakota

Though, the cat was nice enough to pretty darn chill about the whole trip. She was most irritated I think about when we carried the crate in and out of our evening quarters. Besides that she stayed pretty quiet about everything and seemed to have fun playing in the hotel bathrooms just like she does in ours at home. Weird cat...

Since we were heading through on I 90 anyway, we decided to hit Wal-Drug. Both the guy and I have seen the billboards on the plains for years when we lived in Wyoming so we thought, "What the hell, might as well."

I don't want to hurt any ones income so I won't say, "Don't bother" if you're ever in the area, but I'm going to state that I'm not impressed. I do realize that this establishment and it's stunning swath of highway advertising is the only thing that keeps the local economy viable for these families, but it's truly a bunch of kitschy crap at ridiculous prices, and the pricing standard include the ridiculously tiny pharmacy section of a place that calls itself "Wal-Drug". We walked through, were deterred by the prices enough to not bother with lunch there, and I used the bathroom, which was equally unimpressive.

Only after walking through the whole building and going out back do we see that they have new larger bathrooms. Seriously? You guys market yourself as a tourist destination and the previous bathroom is a single stall/urinal bathroom with water that won't get hot to wash with, a crappy fart breeze producing world dryer, no hand towels and a pull inward door to enter and leave by. Okay, here's a tip for all you mentally stunted commercial architects, commercial space designers, and contractors; if you are going to not provide towels at least provide a functional hand dryer and an outward pushing exit from said bathroom so one doesn't have to not only touch the toddler boogered door, but they have to do it long enough to twist the knob with now freezing wet hands.  But mind you, I guess I should be happy you didn't put in a piss trough and want to stand next to me to converse while I try to relieve my bladder. Piss trough I hear you saying? Yes, for further information, please click here.

The last couple images are as we approached Gillette Wyoming for our last night on the road. Those mountains there in the distance (the Big Horns) are the first "real" mountains we've seen since moving to Michigan. Well, not entirely as I've gone home once and came back out to Wyoming/Colorado twice since leaving, but you get what I'm saying. That night after we settled into the hotel, a couple friends from Casper came up and met us with for dinner. It was such a lovely time seeing you both again. Thanks for making the drive Cindy and Ron.

A little welcome back the West. Ahhhh, a nice deep breath at altitude. Love the thin air up here. I think these might be the Crazies as we were between Billings and Bozeman. I think. Not to horribly sure, but hey, I wasn't driving.

This was on the way through Livingston and I just included it to mention how sharply my iPhone decided to focus on the window film, rather than the scenery. Don't you just love it?

Just as the boys were getting into this whole drive all day and snooze groove with me, we got into town. Notice, there's no cat? I actually put her in the Kia as we towed it. I figured she would be happier without hearing our noise and what not. Believe it or not, even when we stopped to offer bathroom breaks and get food, we never heard her carrying on. I think she settled in cozied up with the old bathroom rug that was a favorite place to camp out and slept through the days.

Home Sweet Home! We got in and unpacked in the early afternoon of a beautiful clear day. Once we got ourselves sealed in a bit, the boys got a walk and we went to find food. The following day our household stuff arrived and I slowly got the kitchen pieced together so I could start cooking again. I've cooked most days since then though there have been a few outings to the areas dining establishment. The little local cafe thought we were possibly staying in the guest condos around the corner when we came in for breakfast, then lunch, then breakfast again in two days.

Entry way and closet.
I snapped some photos before we got the house too stuffed with our stuff. It's a bit smaller than both the last two houses so it does feel a little stuffed though we're sorting through all that and getting things put away. It's livable but we still need some stuff like book shelves to get things put away properly. And then there's things like guest beds since I've been warned that people will be coming to visit us.

Dining room... well, it was, but now it's the loom room/office.
Another of the dining room. This time out the from windows. It's where I'm sitting now as I type this.
Although the dogs would love to snuggle with you on the floor. Kidding, they'd prefer to smother you in a bed with their love and affection. Just like that one boy/girl friend in college that all your friends hoped you wouldn't marry.

Living Room
I'm kidding. Well, maybe not, but most of you I didn't know in college so I can't say for sure, but you get what I'm throwing at you. I'm working on a new color scheme but that's summer work. The floors I'm working on. They're beautiful hand planed floors but look like rubbish. They're better now that they were mopped since it looks like the installers mopped with a dirty mop, but they keep getting ashy and the dogs track everything in, but that's a livable situation.

Smallest of the bedrooms so I think it will become fiber stash area. The wind needs some help though.
Sullivan crapping bloody puddles onto the smaller bedrooms floors, not so livable. That was this weeks joy and excitement. We went to a movie on Sunday and came home to find that he had a first round of diarrhea in our absence. He had done it down the hall and then onto the carpet in those rooms as it's easier to squat on that slippery hardwood floor.

Same room, different angle.
The following morning the bedroom door that The Guy uses the closet for work clothes didn't latch behind him and I woke up just before my alarm went off at 6 o'clock  smelling a disaster. When I found it it was mostly blood so I did some quick google searches, as The Guy gave me coworker recommendations before deciding on a fairly close and soon to open vet to get the boy to. No worries, he's already in recovery mode, just a gut bacterial population issue that causes the need for stain and odor removal. Nothing smells like bloody stool...

Other spare bedroom, now a small armory.
Here he is following me around from room to room when we just got here. He was finding this last hotel without scary elevators, strangers in a lobby, and no furniture very unsettling.

Where's the king size bed? I really liked that bed you guys had last night. It was comfy and I could lay up there with you...

 I forgot one of the living room. We plan on maybe chasing the lighting situation though our lamps do pretty well in here, but the colors will get mixed up. The color looks great in this photo, but it's an odd color that when the lights of the day fades, gets a weird grayish brown cast and is not attractive come evening time. I think it will be replaced with a brighter happier green, but we shall see. I kind of miss that burnt orange we had in Casper but it blended so well with our sandstone fireplace and we don't have that here. I just want to counter act the dark hickory floors a bit.

The breakfast area and kitchen. This room though oddly shaped is what we'll use as a dining area. There's only two of us, we don't need a formal dining room. This little Susie Homemaker is not that Martha Stewart like to be trotting hot meals into a whole other room to eat, Thank You Very Flipping Much. Besides, I've had a couple of good interviews here locally and hope to have word on this job very soon. Fingers crossed for me please!

Like I said, a bit of an odd shape, but workable.

Though there was a lot of bitching as I tried to get everything fit in here. I still haven't got my KitchenAid stand mixer on the counter. I'll have to fix that this weekend. The Guy had to do some work to get the microwave to fit in that spot, but I wasn't willing to give up any more of my limited counter space. You know, because I'm pushy like that.

Laundry room! And it was actually meant to be the laundry room! There's some shelves now to the side that I have extra kitchen stuff and the toaster oven on now too. Because as many of you know, I have lots of kitchen crap. But it's all used kitchen crap at least... Right? Just go with me here people, I've enabled you fiber habits enough before that you should be able to support my problems, right?

Believe this or not, but we actually have a garage that both of us can park in. Seriously. In Casper our garage was a storage area and even without our stuff in it, maybe, maybe my little car could have fit in it but it would have been tight. In Michigan, with the John Deere only one car could fit in it, and lets be honest. When I say one car, I mean mine. I don't really know how I got to be the lucky winner, but I was.

The workshop room
The storage rooms behind the garage are what make our parking ini it possible, because The Guys 4Runner is a very tight fit. If there was a lot of extraneous crap in it, we wouldn't be able to fit his vehicle in.

The Lizzy Borden Storage area. Don't ask, those were left on the wall.
As it was, we had to work on making it happen. Hopefully the claim adjuster with the movers comes soon and we can get the broken pieces  of furniture out and rearrange our other stuff to make best use of these spaces for storage and easy retrieval of stored items.

And then there's the bathroom that The Guy has take to using as his main bathroom. No, I didn't kick him out, he's doing it so he doesn't wake me up. Yes, he does get up that much earlier than me though I've been up by 6 most days. It is going to be a bright aqua I think. This picture actually makes this color not so bad, but in person it's almost the same baby diaper post peas that our kitchen in Michigan was.

This is the bathroom in the master bedroom. See, light bar that shines directly into the master bedroom, so he's being very considerate, even though he knows I often sleep like the dead.

There is no door between the sinks and the bedroom, just between the toilet/shower area and the closet and the main room. If we both got up a the same time it wouldn't be an issue. When we address the payout of this bathroom, that might be something we change simply by adding a door of some kind there.

On our first walk out around the neighborhood late that afternoon after arrival, we found this between two houses. I think I need to find which house put it up because I could soooooo be friends with these people. For some reason lately my little sarcastic voice has been working over time. I've had to bite my tongue a lot lately.

These were snapped on the same walk. It was a beautiful and fairly warm day but at altitude again and we love heat fast as the sun goes down and we have clear skies to bleed warmth off.

the other day when we were looking at some beds in a furniture store I had a horrible mental image of doing something to see if it was a good bed. I swear, it was the scene from a movie like Trainwreck. So funny, but so so inappropriate. The Guy would have just laughed, but we're new here. I shouldn't ostracize us yet.

Dog Park!!! A real one too, with multiple ponds, a dock for diving, and big for running.
Then in the grocery store when the young clerk asked us if we wanted our meat wrapped separately, my first thought was, "Of course you wrap you meat separately, or you get diseases... Oh, wrong meat. Sorry." But I didn't say it. I just tried not to smile wickedly as The Guy answered him.

Before we knew he was sick and thought he was just being cute. Should have known that was his "Dad, I don't feel so good" face he had on as we were heading out the door.
As for grocery store, we found Rosauer's grocer. My God, I'm in love. Not only do they have great brands and selections, but they have no, out them, NO self scan kiosks, actual baggers that will help you to your car (no, I don't need their help yet. Give me a few more years, thanks), and Sunday when they were busy they had all the lanes staffed and open except one, but the three registers at the customer service desk were all handling small item number checkouts too. I wanted to go up to the manager and shake his hand but he was busy.

Here's Sullivan Monday night with two doses of antibiotics on board, a liter of subcutaneous fluids dumped in, and a dose of an expensive antiemetic that seemed to do the trick.

See that rug? That's a 7x5 rug we found at this little custom furniture shop that was actually very reasonably priced for $49.00. I swear. I had to call the guy over and confirm that the price was right, then we had to buy it. That steely blue is actually what I think the walls in the living room will be. What looks like dark grey is actually a nice deep brown. sorry, crappy picture colors because I doctored the light in this one to be able to see Emmitt's face.

Ahhh, home.
All right, I think that about covers this weeks post. Actually, with any luck I'll get another one up after the holiday. Speaking of which, you all have a great Thanksgiving! I need to get the Bubble's & Squeak going for dinner for tonight.