Our Lady of the Blue Highways

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

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I actually started this post several days ago as a draft with the intention of finishing it later - but now, I can't find the draft copy.  Used to be it took just a click to pull up old posts - in the event I wanted to add photos but I can't figure that out now.  Sometimes change is just not helpful!

It's Thanksgiving Day - we are having dinner with friends in town.  We had our big dinner last Saturday - as a precaution against the expected weather problems for this week.  What curious weather.   Tuesday and Wednesday it snowed all day - several inches of snow - can't tell exactly because the temperature hovered at about 31 degrees - so as nearly as fast as it fell, it sort of melted.  It's dark out - so I can't see how much snow is left on the ground.   The high today should be about 50 degrees - same tomorrow, but Saturday, the bottom will drop out - high is expected to be around 2 degrees.   Then start popping back up on Sunday and back into the 30's all next week.

I'm counting on the warm weather - because with this much snow - I can't get the truck out of the yard - and Daisy is still in the shop - but hopefully all will work out so we can get on the road by mid week.  This trip will start out so disorganized!!!  We're going to have to make a trip into town, to the repair shop to load the dining benches into Daisy - then back home to load everything we're taking with us into the truck - then back to town to hitch up and take off.  At some point along the journey - we'll have to take a day or so to load everything from the truck into Daisy.

I've finished packing up boxes to mail for Christmas - early start this year.   Well, most boxes, anyway.  I had planned to mail on Friday but have decided to wait until Monday - that will give me 2 full days - Friday and Saturday - not leaving the house - to get as much work done around here as I can.

Sewing projects - nearly done - have 2-3 little things to finish up - and guess what - my unfinished project pile is down to nothing!   Everything I wanted to finish before leaving will be finished.  When we return in the spring, I'll only have Brooke's new quilt to work on - that is if we have collected enough fabric for it by then.

My new passion is items made by recycling jeans.   Thanks to Pinterest I have unlimited ideas - so if you have any old jeans donate to the cause - hang on to them, cause eventually, I'll drive by to see you and pick them up.

It's getting lighter out - still snow on the ground - but the grass is showing through it - by the time we get home from town it should be all gone.

Tucker is curled up on my lap - he's shivering even though he is wearing a sweater - Silly fur ball!
We won't be starting a fire before we go this morning - and Tucker is invited to dinner along with us - so he'll just have to shiver for the time being.  (He can always crawl back in the bed if he wants to)
The house is warm enough without a fire -  it has heated floors - once the first cold snap of winter goes through here, we don't bother with a fire unless it's below freezing - or extremely windy)

I have "Daisy" stuff scattered and piled all over the house - I can't find a thing - will start getting everything into one room at least so I can figure out exactly what goes with us and what stays.

I had planned on moving all my sewing down to the storage unit before I left - but I guess that won't happen - most of it has already been taken down there - last of it will go down Monday.  I'm going to store the chocolate in a metal cooler and  hope the mice can't get to it.  Well, after all we do live in the country in Montana - mice are a fact of nature, especially in the winter.

I've received the last DVD from Netflix for this year - I've cancelled the membership for the time we are travelling.  We'll be watching the 2nd film of the Hobbit trilogy - probably this afternoon.

I need to make a list so I won't forget to put the bike in the storage shed, or to make sure I take Daisy's registration with us - I know I won't forget to pack the TV - Diane wouldn't leave without it. Also can't forget all the VHS movies I've been hiding from her - otherwise she would have watched them already - and if the campground doesn't allow streaming - the VHS is all she will have to watch for the whole winter.

Monday is being set aside so Diane can take care of some things she needs to do - stop at the bank and set up on line bill payments, copy her spreadsheet over to my lap-top so she'll be able to file her taxes from that information at end of year, etc.

Clothes are a big problem.  Have I packed too many or not enough?  And I have to pack for 2 seasons as it will be nearly summer when we get back - and we'll end up our trip in south Texas before heading home.   At least I have the Kindle and won't have to pack a mountain of books.  And, what all do I need to take for Tucker - can't forget his records - never know when I might need them.  And some of his toys, and his bed - well, I know I won't forget that - I've added straps to it so it can be secured to the center console so he can safely ride up front between us.  

Until next time.......

Love, Boots and Tucker

"She believed she could,..... and so she did!"

Monday, November 10, 2014


I awoke yesterday morning to a winter storm warning - it was in the 40's, but the storm was on the way.   The forecast called for rain starting by shortly after noon, and the snow to hit at about 7 p.m. -  The rain appeared on time, but the snow was a couple hours early.

I immediately hopped out of bed and hauled the rest of the re-split wood to the ricks on the porch, filled the wood boxes in the house and put all the kindling I could find into a large plastic tote and dragged it up close to the house - right next to the back (front) door.   Then I checked the porch - where I have all the stuff stored that is going into Miss Daisy when she returns from the shop along with my baking and candy making stuff and tried to bring it as close to the house as possible.   I coiled up the hose and put it in the shed and moved the truck into a parking space and plugged it into an extension cord.   At least I wouldn't have to do it in the rain!

The weatherman was right on the button -  It snowed 3-4 inches overnight - and has been snowing off and on all day - wind driven snow.   I am so glad I am retired!!!  I don't have to go anywhere in this mess - that is if I can get out the driveway at all.   Diane's little Honda is 4 wheel - but even it gets stuck in this driveway.

I got up in the pre-dawn this morning - looking out over the valley was beautiful - still dark, and still with virgin snow covering all and the lights of tiny Belt twinkling in the distance.  

I had to venture out to re-fill the wood box - and checked the other porch also - everything is covered with about 2 inches of snow -  the wind blew it right up to the walls - I hope everything out there is more or less weatherproof!

Travel plans A, B and C are now hanging in the wind.   The forecast calls for this to hang around for a week or so with another Artic blast due the end of next week - long range calls for mainly temps in the 30' right through Thanksgiving.

Well, at least we have plenty of coffee, cocoa and tea - the grocery level is  lower than normal  because we are "eating everything down" preparing to travel, but we have plenty  (and if all else fails, we have the Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer!)  We are however, out of Coca-Cola - but that is by plan - we are trying to quit drinking it - we do have a good stock of Crystal Lite on hand.

Until next time,

Boots and Tucker
"She believed she could, so she did!"

Friday, November 7, 2014


Yep, it's time I put my fingers to flying over the keyboard once more.  Time for the adventure to resume.   I have no explanation for the time lapse - just couldn't face the keyboard, I guess.

In any event - in the last year and a half, I've attended a wonderful family reunion,  visited my daughter in western Montana a few times, took a month long break from winter to visit Arizona, and saw the Grand Canyon for the very first time.  

During the past winter, I found a "wonderful" travel trailer on Craig's list and started planning a life on the road.   The only place she's been so far  (her name is Daisy - or actually,  Driving Miss Daisy - get it?) - is one trip to western Montana for intensive work - more painting, new sub-floor, thorough clean-up - checked out systems somewhat - and found some problems - so now she is spending her days at a repair shop - waiting to be checked out - but they promised me she would be ready to roll by Thanksgiving.   Since the date I delivered her to the repair shop was the middle of September, I lost all the good weather left to finish working inside -  like finishing up the painting and doing the floor - Oh, well - the floor can wait til spring - so can the painting, I guess.  If there are no surprises from the shop .......

Well, plan "A" is to make a trip at all.  Plan "B" is to spend most of the winter in Deming, NM then move on to Texas in April to await the spring wildflowers.   Plan "C"  (Always have a Plan "C") depends on how warm we can keep Daisy - I have no idea what the insulation is like - or if there even is any - and the campground in Deming is at 4500' elevation - so winter nights can get quite chilly - even if day time temperatures are comfortable.  If we can't keep warm - we'll head for southern Texas early - In any event - we plan to be back in Montana by June 1.

My cousin, Diane, will be travelling with me - so this trip will be a test to see how we manage getting along in this tiny house.

Yesterday, my grandson, Jesse was in Great Falls - we met for lunch and it was a real kick hearing my grandson talk about the "Good Old Days"  

I have a newer computer and several un-posted stories from the past couple years when I had so much trouble with the computer and posting photos, etc.   I may post some of them along the time - cause this blog is mostly for me - and one day I'll print it out and have something to pour over in my really old age!!!!!

Speaking of photos, I have yet to move photos from the old computer.  Decided to do it the other day - and gasp!!!!  Senior moment - I haven't a clue how to do it.   Family members will be here for Thanksgiving  I'll get a refresher course then -

I did a month long free trial of Amazon Prime -  seems like a good thing to have - however, wrong time of the year to pull out $100 - so I cancelled and will return to it after the first of the year -  I like what it offers -   free streaming - if we can find a campground that allows it.  At least streaming of those selected items they choose - not everything.   Free 2 day shipping - tried that out, too - took a week -  But while on the road it would be easy for hard to find items .  And - this is the deal maker - just discovered it yesterday - free Cloud storage for photos - no more switching from computer to computer - I'm for that!

Diane does not have TV reception here -her choice.  When I arrived with a Netflix subscription, she literally wore out her computer watching shows - I mentioned to a friend that we needed to find a small tv that worked - and she said she would sell me her's plus the VHS player cause she wanted a larger tv.   And, while in Arizona last winter, Kit gave us a DVD player - so we are set -  and then, I got a gizmo that streams to the TV - so Diane is in Hogg Heaven -  Anyway - Diane owned about a dozen VHS movies and then the search began - first we found some at a garage sale - then more at Thrift stores for 99 cents each, then 49 cents, then 20 cents and finally, yesterday, we found them for a dime each - we now have 173 movies to watch - and I need to get a mounting kit to put the tv up in Daisy - I guess I know what Diane will be doing in NM -

Me?  A year and a half ago, a friend in Virginia Beach got a new Kindle Fire so they gave me the old kindle - I was delighted - I could read, read, read!   I had a MP3 player for audio books - but the Kindle for reading - took me 3 months to figure out how to download new books - I was shown how in VB - but I guess I couldn't remember it all - Those pesky Senior Moments, I guess.   Then, Santa, in the guise of Kit, my friend in AZ - gave me a Kindle Fire for Christmas - Great Balls of Fire - I'm still discovering stuff -  Now all my audio books are on the Kindle, as well as "print" books, plus camera, and e-mail and web browsing, and facebook - but the neatest thing lately - is I discovered an app for CBS -  Those who know me know my favorite, and only, TV show is NCIS - and now NCIS New Orleans - I can watch them on my Kindle - while in bed, comfy in my PJ's   I love it!!!!

Right now, I'm in the middle of candy making - doing it early cause we plan to leave here on December 1.   I am taking a break right now cause Diane is watering her plants - which live on the top of the vent over her stove.   She has decided to take a plant on the road with us - her Christmas Cactus.  

While in AZ - I picked up 25# each of milk and dark chocolate - and I already had 25# of white chocolate - I picked up molds and cookie cutters,and foils and fondant and etc, etc, etc.   The first trip to the supply store I happened to mentioned that I wished they carried my favorite brand of chocolate - Oh, said the clerk - we are waiting for our first order to arrive from there -  So, I am one happy camper for that!   I have enough chocolate to last 2-3 years - since there is no place in Montana to get chocolate, or molds, or other supplies.

I've also been sewing up a storm.   Curtains, quilts and placemats for Daisy - Christmas gifts, and repair jobs.   By the time I get back in the spring, I should only have to work on Brooke's new quilt - which is in the fabric gathering stage right now.  - Oh, and the Victorian Crazy Quilt for a friend - all velvet and brocade and gee-gaw's.   Velvet is so hard to find in a variety of colors - We will make a trip to Phoenix area at least once while in NM and I hope to get to this fabric warehouse type place - and hopefully will find some velvet in other colors - I thought of getting white and dyeing it - but was told it has a tendency to fade drastically when hand dye'd. - but it is an option to at least try if needed.

Once I get the photo stuff figured out - I'll post photos of Daisy - from dark brown paneling to white high gloss - with all her little touches in place.

Tucker?  Well Tucker is my heart.   He's my best friend and true companion - except when I have to fuss with him - like adjusting his harness or brushing his teeth - then his tiny temper comes out to play.  He just turned 3 years old last week.   His latest trick?   In the middle of the night - when it gets a little chilly - I hear this faint whimpering.   I get out of bed, go to see what's up - He's sitting on the floor and as soon as I bend over to pick him up, he jumps back up on the bed and curls up in my warm place.

I think this is a rough summation of the past year and a half, and I'll continue to fill in.   Photos will follow - eventually, and I will try to keep posting - especially while we are travelling.

Until next time,

Boots, Tucker and Miss Daisy

She believed she could do it, so she did!"