Our Lady of the Blue Highways

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

Monday, April 29, 2013


I’ve been reminded that I haven’t posted for a month so I’m trying to get something written down before I hit the road.

 So, here’s what’s happening –

 First, one day everything disappeared from my desktop – all my shortcuts – everything – my desktop now just has a photo of the Rocky Mountain Front on it – nice to look at, but not very useful.    

 Then, a few days later, both my remaining USB  ports quit working.   I couldn’t connect anything.   I don’t like the laptop keyboard or mouse, so I carry around my own – but without the USB ports, I couldn’t use them.   I also, and this was major, couldn’t re-charge or load audio books on my MP3 player -   Oh, no!   Boots without books -  Disaster!!!!!!

 I messed around a bit and learned how to find my files and short cuts, (it won't let me create new short-cuts)  but how I hated the built-in mouse.   I had finally come to the conclusion that I needed a new computer & was just shopping around for one, when, after nearly 3 weeks -   something caused the computer to shut down, and what do you know????? When it re-booted, everything worked!   Yippee, Hooray, Celebrate!!!!!

 Then, happily working away on my computer, I talked with Brooke one day.    She is scheduled for surgery on her knee on the 7th, and will be off work for 2 months.   In addition, she has listed her house for sale.   So, I decided that instead of waiting until September to head for her place, I might as well go now and give her a hand while she is recovering.  

I need to go through the stuff I left there – to see if I can pare it down a little – and I can help Brooke go through hers, too.   I just need to be back around the first of July.

 July is going to be a busy month for me – first off – Diane has a conference to attend the end of June in Chicago – then the first part of July, her daughter has a conference – and we are going to House (rather, pet) sit for her – then sometime around then, we have a camp out scheduled with the Loners on Wheels – in the Lincoln area – and finally the Family Reunion!  

A busy July and nothing else planned for the summer.

 I guess I need to order new tent poles if we are going to use the big tent for the campout.

In any event – at the time these plans were made – it was snowing – the truck was covered with snow, and filled with sewing stuff and the camping stuff was in Diane’s storage shed. 

 And……  everytime we got relief from the snow – it snowed again -   Five big snows in a two week period.    I finally caught a break for a few days, rented a storage unit in Great Falls and got packed up -  Ready to leave last Wednesday -   (5 x 10 storage unit -  in Virginia - $80 per month - in Great Falls - $26 per month - a Bargain!!!)

I got up early that morning, checked my facebook and e-mails, and had a message from Brooke, telling me she’d see me on the 2nd or 3rd.   Wait a minute -   I figured I’d get in the 29th!!!!   I called her, realized I’d gotten the wrong dates in my head, and took my duffle bag back out of the truck.  And waited, and waited!   

I finally left yesterday morning – headed south and east – when I left Belt, the wind had settled down, but there were high wind warnings throughout central Montana -  I prayed for them to calm down – cause in Northeast Wyoming, they close the roads for high winds – even the interstate.  

But we had not problems at all and made it to Casper, Wy for the night -   got in about 6 p.m. and had a good night’s sleep.

Tucker rarely sleeps under the blankets – when I got up this morning, I couldn’t find him -  he was under the blankets, and is so small, he didn’t even make a bump in the bed.

Oh, lest I forget – I had and interesting experience last week.   -  I got an e-mail from some guy who said he was with the Riverside Park Council in Spokane, WA and they wanted permission to use a photo I had taken in the park on their website -  Diane told me to delete it – it was probably a scam or virus or something, but I was intrigued and investigated -   I looked up the Council, found where this guy was indeed a member and the website was for real – and there, in all it’s glory, was my photo with their logo at the head of their web-site.  (someone must have decided they needed to get someone’s permission to use the photo, and that is when they contacted me)   I would never have recognized it as one of mine – but there it was in my Blog of August 2010.    

I asked him how on earth he found the photo and my blog -   easy,     He just Googled images of the park and it led him to my blog, which he said he enjoyed reading.

 Scary, isn’t it???????

In any event, I’m going to head out early this morning -   Headed for Doniphan, NE today – plan to stay in a KOA – I have my little back pack tent with me and it’s suppose to be in the 50’s the next couple nights, so that’s what I plan to do -  after all if we were able to stay in a tent in New Mexico when it got to 12 – 15 at night, we certainly should be able to manage this.  And at $18 will certainly be easy on the budget.

From Doniphan, NE – the next night will be in Rock Island, IL – then on to Lansing, MI to pick up some boxes Brooke left at her son’s house, then on to Maryland – through Virginia -  with my finger’s crossed.

Why?   Cause -  I have Virginia plates on the truck – but no inspection sticker -  annual inspection is required in VA – and mine was due last October – so, since I was out West, I scraped the sticker off – so’s not to bring attention to the fact it was expired.

 I was in the process of changing the registration over to Montana - but you have to have a driver’s license, first – and I have to make an appointment on-line for that – and they say I might have to wait weeks for the appointment, and since I had to leave, I left – with the Virginia tags and no inspection sticker

 I did manage to change my truck insurance over to Montana -  Ouch!!!! Painful!!!!   How was I to know that Virginia has one of the lowest insurance rates in the country – and Montana one of the highest! – my insurance went up 50%!   But -  Montana does not have sales tax, so I’m sure that will more than make up for it!

 In any event, it’s time to wake the “Little Guy”  (Tucker) up and haul tail down the road.  

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in Maryland, and those in Virginia over the next two months!

Until Next Time,
Bear Hugs

Luv ‘n Boots and Tucker, too.
And, yes, of course the Bear is with us, too

She believed she could do it, so she did.
Or, maybe I should change that to:
She knew she could do it and so she did -    what do you think, Diane? -  See, I do pay attention!