Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Friday, July 20, 2012


I have a post about out camping trip all ready to post, and can't upload the photos.

Today, I'm headed to Kalispell and I'm hoping cousin Dennis will have some time to help me with all these photo issues

You'll be hearing from me soon

Bear Hugs,Luv 'n Boots & Tucker, Too
and don't forget Little Bear (Wee Beastie)

She Believed she could do it, so she did!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Friday morning, I finished packing the truck and then tried to figure out how to start Diane's riding lawnmower.  Well, I did just that, but couldn't figure out how to make it move - it took a call to her grandson, but I finally got it going!  Don't laugh, I've never been on a riding mower before.  

In the afternoon,  I took a liesurely drive to Helena - about 80 miles from Great Falls.   Barb and I were best friends throughout grade school and beyond and have many, many memories to talk about.  

Barb has a dog - a Laboradoodle - about 65# - what a hoot to watch Della and Tucker getting to know each other.   Della wasn't quite sure what was happening, and where to put her paws - large, powerful paws.  So she just lay down and patted her paws on the floor to entice Tucker to play, Tuck had a blast.  He is so fast, and he maneuver's so quickly that Della was sometimes left wondering where he went.

I so looked forward to sleeping on Barb's front porch - it's wonderful.  We have a heat wave going on in Montana - as do so many other areas of the country - one difference in Montana, though - is the low humidity - which means that as soon as the sun goes down, and even before, it cools down to great sleeping weather.  I didn't know how I was going to handle it with Tucker since he's so tiny he can fit under or through the porch railing.  We solved it by putting his harness and leash on, and I slept with the leash wrapped around my wrist.   I worked great!

On Saturday, we drove over Stemple Pass to the Lincoln, MT area - you know, Lincoln - of the Unibomber fame????  Well that's old news, anyway.   Carol, we did drive into "town" and had huckleberry ice cream cones.   So, I can cross that little "chore" off my list!   We also stopped at a yard sale - found while turning around after missing our target.   They had boxes of fabric - as soon as I told Barb I wasn't looking at any fabric, I spotted some white flannel!   $1.00 a bundle!   Something I needed for one of my projects.   I got a bundle, which turned out to be about 9 yards - a bargain - but, wait - it gets better!   A couple days later I needed a "rag", so I cut of a portion of the flannel which was dirty -  not only was there 9 yards - it was 90 inches wide!  

We continued on our road trip to where Barb's son has a cabin, with a wide creek just steps away.   Della loves the water.  She immediately jumped in and chased sticks.   I waded in with Tucker on a leash - I took 2 steps, Tuck took 2 - finally, he was in far enough to swim which he did handily - but he didn't really enjoy it.

We left the cabin and continued on our way to Snowbank Lake where we had lunch and threw more sticks for Della.   Tucker decided to keep his feet dry, though.

On the way back to Barb's we drove along the fire area.  I mentioned in a previous post that Barb's neighborhood was evacuated because of a forest fire.   The fire came within a few blocks of her home.   It came as far as the road in 3 places, and actually jumped the road in one place -  Luckily the losses were not as bad as it could have been -  3 homes and some out buildings.

We drove around to the back of the hills where the fire got started (an accident)   It swept out of control over the ridge and was caught by a northerly wind and traveled the length of the hills before being subdued.  The next day, the winds turned and drove the fire southward.  On the third day the wind drove in from the west and the fire took direct aim at Barb's neighborhood.   Slowly, the firefighters gained control, and finally stopped the fire.  The scent of ashes was still in the air.

On Sunday we decided to take the Trolley Tour of Helena - unfortunately it was closed.  So, we walked along Last Chance Gulch - which at one time was just that - the last chance to look for gold, and some struck it rich there in the 1800's    Today it is a shopping area, a fun place to explore.  

It was hot! Hot! Hot!    Once we returned home, we curled up and took naps.  Dogs included.

On Monday, Barb had a couple appointments in the morning, I rode along and waited in the car - it was Hot, Hot, Hot -   My right arm got sunburned in just moments.  When we returned -  we took a nap.  I'm enjoying this!!!   The night was once again cool and refreshing!

Tuesday -  we couldn't go anywhere because my new tent was to be delivered and I didn't want to take a chance on not being there..   I spent the day unloading the truck - and stacking non-camping stuff in Barb's garage - getting ready for our camping trip which we'll leave for  on Thursday.   It was surprisingly cool - high still to be in the high 90's, but sky was overcast, keeping the temp down.

The tent arrived, and just as we were going to try putting it up, it started raiing - well "spitting" is more like it.  In any event, .........we took a nap instead!  Afterward, refreshed from the A/C in the house, we took the dogs across town to 10 Mile Creek, where Della immediastely, even before we were all out of the car, ran head-long into the water.    Tucker reluctantly went in the water, and I have the cutest photo of him - if I can locate it on the computer!  ....... Well, I canh't find the photo.  I'm not having any luck at all with photos this year!  

At one point, Tucker was on leash - and Della ran pell-mell between us - as soon as I realized what was going to happen, I dropped the leash handle, but even so, Tucker got flipped!!!  Della is so exuberant.

Tomorrow's schedule is to finish packing the truck for the camping trip, figure out how to make Tucker's car seat fit on the back seat.   We are going to an area along the Boulder River south of Big Timber -  the altitude will be nearly 5000 ft - so I'm hoping it will be cooler than it is here in the Valley.   I know the nights will be even cooler than they are here.  So, on Thursday, we'll be on our way!

Until next time,
Bear Hugs

Luv 'n Boots and Tucker, too

She believed she could do it, so she did!

PS - I typed this directly into my blog, instead of doing it in Word first - the type is so small I can't read it unless I put my nose on the screen - so please ignore typos 


Thursday, July 5, 2012


    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    I'M BACK - more or less!

    We returned from Bozeman last week.   I still don't have my computer back, but thought I'd write a few
    lines anyway.   I want to post more photos, but I can't do that until I pick up my computer - which I am happy to say will be tomorrow!

    Last Saturday, cousin Diane, Tucker and I went searching yard sales in Great Falls.  What fun - I haven't done it for years.   Found some stuff for my camping tote - rug for inside the tent door, container for utensils, and a pancake turner!   Oh, and books.   Diane got a handful of Agatha Christies that she hadn't read, and I found 3 James Mitchner's.   One is my favorite - the Source, and the two others I had never read - strange, I thought I had read all of his books.

    We stopped at Hempl's bakery and got maple bars - such memories.  I don't know why I couldn't find them back east!

    On Monday, we took both cars - hers and mine in to the dealers to have them checked out.   I wanted to make sure everything done in Grand Forks was ok and a quick look to see if something else was wrong with the A/C    Diane's car was checked for oil/transmission leaks (details to follow in blog about Bozeman)
    Her car passed with flying colors - and at no charge.   Mine - well they found a shorted fuse and loose battery cable - cost $50    but, I now have A/C again!!!!  Could this be the time it is fixed for once and for all?

    We then picked up lunch and took it to a nearby park to enjoy.   Tucker enjoyed the park, also.

    My computer is not going to cost as much as I feared, either.   When I talked  with Ben about it over the weekend, it sounded like it had turned into a major job.   He tried to talk me into removing all my games.  Not Likely!!!!  I explained that the games are not the problem, they are all on the D drive - it's the C drive with the operating system, and everything that came with the puter that is filled to capacity.    But, he called last night said it was ready - the fan was gunked up causing it to shut down every hour of operation.  He's installed new hard-drives - at 10 times the size and made the old hard drive into an external drive.   He says it's really fast now!  I hope that means I can upload photos to the blog faster.

    I ordered my new tent and had it shipped to Barb's in Helena - Oops, they said at first it would not be delivered until July 9 - 11th - then they sent word that it had shipped June 30 -   Well - Barb is not home this week - and I'm still in Belt.   I'm glad I specified it had to be signed for!

    Diane and I are planning a couple camping trips when I get back in August.   I'll be with Barb until July 25th and then I'm heading to NW Montana - to the Kalispell - Glacier park area.   At this point I don't know if Barb will be travelling with me -  We are going camping the middle of July for 4 days - at a campground with vault toilets and no showers - I'm not sure I told her that little fact yet.   We'll see.  We'll see.   She just may decide camping is not her lifestyle after that weekend.  That will be my first experience camping with "Loners on Wheels"   I'm checking them out cause I'm thinking about wintering at their home ranch in Demming NM.

    The tent is not the one I had decided to get while I was in Maryland - that was one room plus a screen room, instead this one has 2 rooms with large windows - it's about 82" high so I can walk upright anywhere in the tent.   I just hope I can put it up by myself - it's not the instant up I had planned on.

    Mother Nature must be experiencing some PMS.   Debbie's visit to Florida impacted both Myra and JT and my cousins Sandy and Gregg.  As far as I know, Myra and JT did not have any damage to deal with, but Sandy and Gregg are still mopping up!   At the same time,   Barb in Helena was evacuated from her home in the wake of a forest fire - luckily the fire was under control before it got to the residential area.    And... same weekend -  the storm the started in Indiana and raged through the mid-atlantic - left Brooke and friends with no power for a week.  I saw on Facebook that my niece, Micki, sent Brooke some good advice - 2 years ago they had a fire in the power box and was without electricity for 7 weeks.

    Here, it's been beautiful - even with the wind.   Highs in the 80's, lows 35-40  with low humidity - so it's been perfect!   

    Tucker is waking around on the desk while I'm typing - he loves pens and steals them as often as possible.  

    He is so tiny, I realized one of his back legs and thigh is no bigger than a small chicken!  Some comparison.
    He is busy making friends for me.  Everybody is taken with him.  

    I'm so enjoying being here at Diane's that I've invited myself to stay for Thanksgiving dinner.   When I get back, we are thinking of taking a few days and traveling up to Canada and driving around the Glacier/Waterton Peace Park area.  

    There is one particular drawback though - Diane and I are surprisingly alike in a lot of ways - very laid back - we can spend a day in the same house without much talking - reading books mostly.   We like to eat the same things - for the most part.  We both like camping and road trips.   We just plain like to eat - very dangerous to a diet!  I made bread again today.  - Tomorrow - the 4th, we plan to have Beer Baron sausages on home made hot dog rolls, potato salad, baked beans etc, etc, etc.   Belt had it's 4th of July celebration last weekend.  Diane's house sits on a hill overlooking the town - a perfect set-up for watching the fireworks.!

    Until next time
    Bear Hugs

    Luv 'n Boots, and Tucker, too
    And, of course Wee Beastie

    She believed she could do it and so she did!