Our Lady of the Blue Highways

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

Monday, March 25, 2013


And, when I got up this morning it was 8 degrees with fresh snow!!!

My trip from New Mexico to Montana was uneventful – and very pleasant.   I stopped in Sheridan WY to see my nephew one day – it was a very nice visit. My nephew is a highly acclaimed tattoo artist – his art work is outstanding.

I didn’t realize how much I missed Montana until I started seeing the mountains – the Colorado mountains are beautiful, too – but to me, the Montana mountains are special

We drove down the road a bit one day because I needed some willow to repair the farm set.  The creek was frozen over so I gave Tucker a chance to check it out!

    Tucker on ice


Shortly after arriving in Belt, we left for Bozeman to visit my cousin’s daughter.  Her place is beautiful – out in the Gallatin Valley, perhaps 10 miles from the foot of the Bridger mountains.

    Bridger mountains


It’s a mile from the house to the nearest road – so Tucker gets to run free during the day while we are there – also, there is Booger (dog) and Itty Bit (cat) for him to play with.

     Tucker and Itty Bit (full name Itty Bitty Stinky Kitty)

 And the food!   Well, of course there was good food.   We had a huge pineapple upside down cake,  another day we had a coconut pie – Yum!   And toward the end of our visit – Shelley and I started talking about wanting something chocolate – don’t know what happened, but I ended up making a white almond cake – but flavoring it with peach schnaaps – really good!   With Chocolate frosting. – On St. Patricks day, we had corned beef and cabbage, of course.  

We had taco dip one night, hot crab dip another time, and short ribs – gosh, I can’t remember all the good stuff we ate.

One day we were driving on main street – a residential area – headed to the Olive Garden (we weren’t in the outskirts, we were in the middle of town!)  I spotted a deer walking out between houses -   I counted 12 mule deer in the group – the lead doe stepped off the curb, then stepped back – and I swear, she looked up at the light, saw it was green and proceeded to lead the group safely across the street.   12 Deer – in the middle of town!!!!

One day while Tucker and I were out walking, he unknowingly flushed a pheasant – he was about 20’ ahead of me – he switched ends and high-tailed it back to me – I could just about hear him saying, “Mom!, Mom!, Up!, Up!, What WAS that?”   The next day, he was more prepared – and purposely flushed two birds.

Shelley had a large bucket of “Twizzler” type candy.   I grabbed a couple of them and curled up
On the sofa with a book – naturally, Tucker, suspecting I had food was immediately on my lap.  I kept telling him that those were my “bones” and he couldn’t have them.  Then he became protective of them- growling over them, and lying on top of them.  I finally lifted him up and discovered the little twit was swallowing one of them – whole.  I grabbed his jaw and started pulling the end of the twizzler, slowly and carefully, afraid I would cause it to break off – I successfully removed it from his mouth – and he had swallowed fully ½ of the thing! That’s nearly half his own length.

Of course, while in Bozeman, I visited the quilt shops – I needed three more pieces for Angie’s quilt and I found 2 of them (they had another, but I have one picked out on-line)  At the third shop, which is out in the country and on a farm, I picked up some hand embroidery patterns – this will be my new interest – once I get my sewing projects finished.  The setting of the shop was charming – complete with a flock of sheep – which kept Diane entertained while she waited in the car for us.

We chose to leave Bozeman on Wednesday morning because Wednesday night there was a
Wicked storm due.   We were not 2 miles from Shelley’s when we ran into snow – and it continued, getting more intense all the way down, around and through the Bridgers – then, as suddenly as it began, the snow stopped and it was clear sailing the rest of the way to Belt.

Tucker is once again attending church with us – he is so popular with everyone there!  It’s like he knows he must be quiet during the service  – he just curls up on my lap and listens!

    Tucker, on his way to Church

While we were in Bozeman, Diane’s son built a railing around her loft – now I feel much more secure when I’m up there – it is to be my sewing area while I’m here.  Although I haven’t moved my sewing machines up there yet – maybe tomorrow – I can start on some of my projects.  Kit sent me the fabric for the reverse side of her quilt, so I can get started on that.

I’m also gathering, or at least trying to gather info for a family tree – and I’ve started on the Family History book – have to have all this done by mid-July for our reunion.  My mother was one of five siblings – I started with my 4 great -grandparents,  and with I have so far, I have over 200 people documented on the family tree – I have three of the families mostly completed, nothing on one line, and only half on the fifth family – so, there could be another fifty or so to add.

In any event, I certainly won’t have time to get bored!!!

Diane called out to me the other evening to “look at Belt Butte” and this is what I saw – it faded some in just the few seconds it took to grab my camera – but it was an amazing sight anyway.

    Belt Butte

The day I arrived in Belt, I saw some of the deer in the neighbor’s field – but none since then – until this morning -  I counted ten of them in the field down the hill -   it’s almost time for them to start dropping their babies – I’m looking forward to seeing the fawns.

Until next time,
Bear Hugs
Luv n’ Boots n' Tucker n' the Bear

She believed she could do it, so she did!













Wednesday, March 20, 2013



 Finally leaving Arizona – stopped at a rest stop and took Tucker for a walk – the signs were a bit daunting!   Glad it was dead of winter. (Arizona style, anyway)



We pulled into the Picacho Peak Park entrance for a lunch break.  Looked like it would be a great place to visit – but time was churning on and I wanted to have plenty of time to put up my tent once I arrived in Deming.



On the way to Deming, I passed a couple trading posts – I stopped at one and found a treasure trove of T-shirts – bought one.  Rather – another one.

 Got to the LoW-Hi ranch about 3 in the afternoon, and proceeded to put up the tent.  That was my first problem -  I figured out later that I didn’t properly seat the shock-corded poles, so they came apart, then pinched fabric so I couldn’t budge them.   Finally, 3 other campers (all with rigs) came to my rescue and we got her up and then I installed a small, back-pack tent in the end of the big tent, and put my bed in that – for extra warmth.   It turned out to be the smartest thing I did.

 I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and spent the next few days just resting, organizing and meeting people.   The campground was nearly full.   Folks, this campground is so neat – of all the other campgrounds in the area, it was the neatest – out in the middle of the desert, but with native plantings, and well defined sites – even a pet park for Tucker to meet friends, and there were a lot of dogs, and also cats there.  




They had a bunkhouse – for games and meetings, and TV and just hanging out, a rec room, laundry room, a couple of covered patios. 

 The weather was nice – cold at night pleasant during the day.  When I say “cold at night” I mean that the temp was in the 12 – 15 degree range at night.  But with my double tent set up, we were quite cozy – as long as I didn’t move around or shift the bedding – then I would get cold spots – so – after 3 or 4 nights like this, I did what any red-blooded, all-American out-door living gal would do – I bought an electric blanket – no problems keeping warm after that. 

 The wind would start blowing about 10:30 a.m., and quit after dark, so that was OK, too.

A fellow named Bob was parked next to my site – when he was 54 – he decided to find himself.  Started walking from Yuma, AZ and before he hung up his pack 6-7 years later, he had walked on all continents but Antarctica.   He had so many great stories to tell – I wish I could have had more time to visit with him.  He was a retired Marine.

One afternoon, one of the campers taught us how to “braid” a T-shirt – makes them more feminine looking – doesn’t work too well for me cause I need every bit of length, but it’s nice looking and something I’d never seen before.

 On Monday’s they have pot luck meals at the Rec room.  On weekends, groups get together and decide on a place to eat out and car pool.   Announcements are made daily on activities in the area during “happy hour” at the Bunk house.  

 On Tuesdays, groups get together and drive to Mexico to have lunch at the “Pink Store” just across the border.   I was looking forward to that.   I rode down with three others – including a woman from my own home town in Montana.   What fun talking about the old town and how it has changed.


The Pink Store:


I was talked into having a Margarita with lunch – “cause the first one is free!”  About 1/3 of the way through the drink, my eyes started crossing.   I mentioned that and was told, “Oh, we should have told you, it’s not only free, it’s strong!”  The food was great, and of course I had a (2 actually) Mexican cokes with my meal.  When I finished eating, I wandered around the store – it has everything.   Pottery, clothing, jewelry, household items – all at reasonable prices.   I was planning on some purchases the next week!

 A newly arrived camper joined us in Mexico – she had just returned from a trip to Central America in her RV - what an adventure.   I can’t imagine I would ever do anything like that, but who knows?  I didn’t get much chance to talk with her about her adventure, because that is the day “things” started happening.

You might remember what my “Plan A” was -  2 months in New Mexico – then  a month in Texas for the wild flowers, then a slow trip back to Montana via western Colorado and Yellowstone Park.   (I actually had a plan B – if it got too cold to head down to Padre Island in Texas til time for the wild flowers)

When we returned to the campground, I decided I needed a nap – The wind was picking up and we were expecting a big storm the NEXT day.   When I poked my head out of my little bedroom, a while later, the end of my tent had blown down.


   Two other campers came to my rescue – we got Tucker out and my bedding, then pulled the tent down the rest of the way and weighed it down.  It was dark by then, and one of my helpers talked to the park manager and got  permission for me to spend the night in the game room – with Tucker, which is against the rules.   I think I would have gone to a motel, but……….  My purse was buried somewhere in the tent.

  I spent two nights sleeping in the bunk house, then was able to put the tent back up.  I managed to wash a load of clothes, then returned to the tent and crawled into bed for a nap – and didn’t get up for 24 hours – some kind of virus.  I was miserable – and poor Tucker – I couldn’t even get out of bed to walk Tucker –after the 24 hours, I could barely stand to eat – although, my new friend neighboring my site fixed me breakfast – that’s all I could managed for 4 days.

 Finally, by Sunday I was starting to feel better, and then the wind kicked up again – big time.   I tried holding the tent up from the inside, but the wind was blowing too hard – I got Tucker and we crawled into the “bedroom”  That little tent was a God-send – it kept that end of the big tent from coming down.  I would say the gusts were 50-60 mph – much more than that tent was built for.

The next morning, the end of the tent was down – one corner on the “little tent” end had pulled out the stake and tore the tie down -   the roof poles were shattered and I was devastated.  I guess Plan B is now out of the question, too - since I can't put my tent back up.

One of the campers said she was very surprised I stayed in the tent all night - she spent the night curled up on the floor because the wind was battering her rig around so much.    My response was that if that tent was going anywhere – I was going with it.
I guess “that” day has come – I have to get a rig somehow, someway – so that is what I’ll be concentrating on for the foreseeable future!   Cause, I sure don’t want to quit travelling.

The first day I was at the campground – I had talked with my cousin, Diane, in Montana – she said she really missed me and wished I was at her house – that is proof that you should be careful of what you wish for -  cause, the day following the storm, I packed up the truck – still not fully recovered, and….. I think the altitude had something to do with it, too – it took me all day – I checked out of the campground and into a motel for the night – and headed for Montana early Tuesday morning.

Until next time,
Luv ‘n Boots and Tucker, too
And, we’ve still got the Bear with us, too
She believed she could do it, and so she did!



Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Monday morning was a time of departure.  Kit and Kathy drove Christine to the airport, and I buttoned up the truck and took my leave of Ken – he kindly checked all the fluids and stuff for me.

As I was leaving, it was just starting to spit rain.   I continued to drive through scattered showers, until I reached Tucson, - then it began in earnest – a real downpour.  When I got east of Tucson, I was feeling sleepy, and I was also running about 30 minutes early for getting to Benson, AZ – so I pulled off the road and took a little nap.  When I opened my eyes, it was still raining – then I heard a “Splat” – looking closely at the windshield, I saw SNOW!!!!  No, can’t be.  This is Arizona!   By the time I let Tucker out to do his business, and got the truck turned around, it was snowing in earnest – I had only about 25 miles to go and it was like driving through a winter wonderland.

 It continued snowing for a few hours – a couple inches at least – but I was able to watch it from within my friend’s home in Benson. 


The next day, Honey Lou and I drove to Tombstone – I’d been wanting to go back since I was there two years ago to get a T-shirt – I know sounds ridiculous, but it’s hard to find T-shirts not made in China and thin enough to see through.   They were there – Right where I remembered seeing them last time.   They were so neat, I got two of them!


We wandered around Tombstone for a bit – spotted this mobile snowman along the way. 

Some of the Sites

Some Of the local characters:


Kit – this photo is for you – this family is from the Snowy Mountains in Australia and they are all saying hello to you!

 That evening, we attended a pancake supper at the church – it was quite good.   Honey Lou and I had talked about making bread – I had given her a bread cook-book two years ago and she hadn’t tried it out, so before leaving for the supper, I mixed up a loaf and left it to rise on the counter.  The next morning we finished baking it – not very successfully – high altitude, unknown stove, but Honey Lou says now that she sees how easy it is, she’ll practice, practice, practice.    My friend Jackie who makes the best bread in the world posts photos of it on FB – I promised to share the photos so Honey could see all the possibilities.

Once the bread was out of the oven, Tucker and I hopped in the truck and took off for New Mexico.
Until next time,

Bear Hugs
Luv ‘n Boots and Tucker
And the Bear, too

She Believed she could do it so she did!






Saturday, March 9, 2013


My last week in Sun City was very busy.

 I spent a day with Sharon, gathering family information for the reunion book – also a lot of time

With Kit at the Ancestry website.  Kit also gave me an old version of family tree maker to

Gather the information in a semblance of order.   So far I’ve posted nearly 100 individuals, and I’m not nearly done – and this is a very narrow family line I’m following.  I think it will be a work in progress for years to come as photos and stories are added.  My nieces, Michelle and Christine enjoyed looking at all the old family photos.

I had been wanting to go to a huge fabric warehouse since I was here two years ago.   In the end, I went with nieces and Kit.   The first thing I spotted was some variegated brown velvet which would be perfect for the Victorian crazy quilt I’ll be starting next Year, along with some crocheted snippets to add as trim.  The excitement was building!  Then Kit came up behind me and said – there’s a box of leather over there and off I went.   The second piece of leather I touched was an entire hide of just the right weight for part of Brooke’s costume – so, instead of buying stuff for my crazy quilt, I bought the hide.   I don’t know if I mentioned it before -  I’m making Brooke and her horse  “Xena, Warrior Princess” costumes this fall.   The hide will take care of a lot of it.

 Speaking of fabric – remember the southwestern fabric I went ga-ga over?  I posted a photo of it earlier – well, I found some at another shop – when I brought it home, Kit decided she wanted  it as the centerpiece of one side of her quilt.  I’ll use it in a quilt I’ll make someday for myself, too.  And, I have extra in case I think of something else.

 We ladies attended an art show at one of the local recreation centers.  This was fascinating.  It looked like a small shopping mall, except all the “Stores” were actually art and craft facilities – There was art, stained glass, jewelry, crocheting, quilting, lapidary, ceramics, silver working – you name it! 


While we were walking around the art show – one particular water color caught my attention -  It reminded me so much of a photo I took in Glacier Park last summer – as it happened, the artist was at the show and I got a chance to ask him about the subject of his painting – it was the Swan River – which is in the Flathead area of Montana – not far from Glacier Park – it was the color of the water that stood out – must have been some glacial melt.

 Michelle and I spent Saturday at the Chocolate festival in Glendale.   It was a very interesting afternoon.   It’s unbelievable what people have thought to chocolate coat! 



There were vendors there with other items, too -  including these tye-dyed items.



We took the free trolley to the chocolate factory for a tour – my kind of place!!!!

 Michelle bought a chocolate covered jalapeno for her husband – I never heard what he thought of it.

 After the Chocolate Factory Tour, it was time to head home.

Until next time,

Bear Hugs

 Luv ‘n Boots and Tucker
And the Bear, too

She Believed she could do it so she did!







I spent the morning trying to scan old photos into my computer - unsuccessfully.   We are going to make a trip to Bozeman, MT to visit Diane's daughter for a couple weeks, and I thought if I got
the photos scanned in, I could keep working on the family history I want to get done in time for the Reunion in July - no such luck. 

Not only did the photos not scan no matter what I tried - but all the short-cuts on my desk-top disappeared - and they aren't coming back!   I can't even create new short-cuts - I can't locate the photos I spent so much time separating out and placing on the desk-top.  Nor the family history book,
I did find the reunion T-shirt design, but everything else is swimming around in cyber space.

And, the reason I had problems posting to my blog - I tried to put too many photos on it - so I guess I'm back to posting without photos again until I get this mess figured out.

Blast, and blast again

Until next time,
Bear Hugs

Luv 'n Boots & Tucker

She believed she could do it and so she did.

(PS I don't know if I'll have access to the internet while in Bozeman, so it may be 2-3 weeks before you hear from me again - so what else is new?)

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I've Lost It!

My post, that is -  I'm in the midst of adding photos, and it disappears!   I'll keep looking
for it!