Friday, December 26, 2008

Daisie says, "Happy Boxer Day!"

Daisie looking all spanky with her sweater on....
However, this is how she really feels about it..."hate clothing, hate sweater, too tight, it's touching me!"

Daisie enjoying her Christmas toy..."What's it all about Elfie????"


Running and jumping for joy! This was a few days ago...Today, being "Boxer Day" and the snow being MUCH deeper now, her jumps for joy are even higher!



"I am so very happy that the world celebrates us boxers, and that they do it at Christmas time! Thank you very muchly!"




Thursday, December 25, 2008

White Christmas!






































We were suprised to find that about 6" more snow had fallen overnight! We've NEVER had a Christmas this white! The sun came out for a little while this afternoon, making everything more gorgeous. The kids had a group of people over yesterday to do some kneeboarding behind the atv's, and they had a great time. Ran & I got to babysit great-nephew Colby so we had a great time too! This morning Randy & Cait ventured out to deliver some Secret Santa gifts. Though the snow was deep, it was easily navigable. Later we ventured out to have coffee with the Likkel's... Then I took Daisie out for a frolic in the snow...She frolicked...I remained upright. Now we are cozy in the house, with coffee and good food (lots! ; D )and Christmas music playing. So much fun -- and we haven't even had a single Christmas party yet! All of those are coming in the next couple of days...quite the special holiday season!

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Now THAT'S more like it...







We don't have to dream...
We're having a WHITE CHRISTMAS!









Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We're in the donut hole...

of snow accumulations around here...Lots more snow north, south, east and west of us -- and I am feeling a little petulant about it! I'm sure that there are many, more grown up than I, who are thankful, but I was hoping for more of a storm...a bit more excitement, some "danger, danger"! (Just a little "danger, danger"...) I had stocked up on supplies when the forecast was so dire, and now, every time I go into town, I think of a few more things. If we don't get snowed in soon, we will have enough groceries to last until mid-February! There is still hope -- more snow is forecast for tonight, and perhaps 3-6" tomorrow. I hope we're NOT in the donut hole this time!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A few hours more...

By 4pm, drifts have formed, the temp is only 23 degrees, the snow is continuing to fall...and the wind is beginning to pick up...It's for real!

Just a few hours later...

The landscape has changed! The snow is here...

Just a skiff...


Daisie and I enjoyed a walk this morning with just a little snow on the ground, and a little more in the air. The white stuff makes it very exciting for Daisie. She immediately is compelled to eat a bunch, as if she is responsible for clean-up and overwhelmed by the job! The recent cold weather has kept her bounding through our walks, either from excitement, or from trying to keep her feet off the cold ground! I have a sweater for her to wear -- she is not a hairy dog! -- but she is usually distressed by the attire, and walks kinked to the side, trying to see or bite the offending article. The other day she managed to get her coat (yes-- she has one of those too) loose from around her neck, but it stayed fastened around her middle and just kept sliding further and further back -- a little uncomfortable for running around. She was visibly disappointed that her efforts did not bring a greater freedom, rather a greater annoyance. Lately, I have let her go outside unclothed. She seems undeterred by the temperature, which has been as low as 20 degrees, and is eager to go out. Her reaction to rain is markedly different, but I don't mind that as I have a similar one! NO rain-walking!


I am hoping for more snow. I guess it is the childishness in me -- still present at 47 years of age! Snow is so Christmasy! It makes inside so cozy! It clothes the homeliness of the world in beauty...And I have to admit, I love the excitement of an impending storm! What kind of adventure might we have? Will we be reliant on only our resources out here, cut off from the world? Our favorite forecaster has predicted a long series of Arctic events that could provide plenty of excitement for me in the weeks ahead...Oh boy! I got my potatoes, canned goods, batteries and supplies and I am ready...Now -- we're just waiting for the snow...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Roxy visits...

Last weekend Larry and Erin were off to Eastern Washington to hunt, so Roxy (their dog -- a stray they found while hunting last year) came to visit Daisie. Daisie and Roxy love these visits, and they are circus events -- wildness and running, interspersed with coma-like napping. Here are a couple of videos for evidence.


Fortunately, the word "treat" has meaning for these two -- though you'll note that it pulls Roxy from far when we yell "come" -- Daisie doesn't move until she hears "treat!" and sees my hand in my pocket!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I forgot to say...

...that we traveled a total of 5002 miles on our trip! Randy drove every one of them...THANKS, RAN!

Best food: Aunt Bernita and Aunt Sal's home cooking!

Favorite stops: Randy -- riding 4 wheeler around the farmland of Manhattan, MT
Leslie -- Mt. Rushmore
Dad -- Mackinac Bridge
Mom -- home : )

Of course, the highlight for all was the visit in Michigan...a dream come true.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

East, West...Home is best!


We had a leisurely day of driving from Ritzville to home. As usual, we enjoyed the Eastern Washington scenery, the guys speculating on how soon some crops would be harvested; why they were still irrigating; what was going to happen with some of the taller alfalfa...




We crossed the Columbia at Vantage. I love Vantage...it's just so open, and wide...lonely, and so different from home. As a kid, I was always intrigued with the story of how the water from the dam covered the original town...Was it still there underneath the water? Did people get covered up too? (Heaven forbid!) What was it like to lose your whole town that way? And the bridge, with the whipping winds is just so big, and deliciously scary.


I also love the Wild Horse Monument on the hill just before you get there...horses running so free...



And then, finally our first glimpse of REAL mountains in the distance...People in the mid-west and further east just don't know what a REAL mountain is! I love seeing new country, but I don't think I could give up living surrounded by mountains...

Mid-westerners -- THIS is a mountain!


Soon it was raining -- now we knew we were almost home!




The last 2 hours of the drive are always the longest...familiar territory, so close -- and yet so far from the destination, traffic -- we hadn't seen traffic like that since a couple hours in Illinois! It was good to get back to Lynden and note the few things that had changed...Fall was more in evidence than when we left...But most things were wonderfully the same! We were home again!

The pillows go back in the house -- we're home!


It was a great trip...Dad and Mom held up well with all the hours in the car. We enjoyed each other's company...We got to be at Uncle Roger's home!...Every day we were reminded: "What a country!" and we came home still liking the place that God has put us, and understanding more why others like the places God has put them...

And with renewed thankfulness and perspective, we spent the next days thanking God for our own beds, : ) and homes, and pets, and community, and scenery...and family near and far. We have indeed been blessed!
"Boss -- is that really you?" Daisie jumped in the car and sat there while Randy unloaded it. She wasn't taking a chance on being left home again!

Billings to Ritzville, with an important stop inbetween!

Typical -- and beautiful Montana scenery...

Grain elevator in Manhattan...

More scenic Montana...

Homestake Pass...

In the distance, a huge open pit mine by Butte...
Lookout Pass...
Sunset near Spokane...
After a good night's sleep, we were on the road again -- down to the part of the trip that was all about getting home. Thankfully, we did have one last stop to look forward to...

We made it to Uncle Stan and Aunt Sal's by lunchtime...She told us she'd have a "sandwich waiting for us" and did she ever! We feasted on home-cookin' -- sloppy joes on bakery kaiser rolls, apple sauce, chips...and warm -- WARM! -- freshly baked apple crisp. : ) There was even coffee for the road...Aunt Bonnie's co-worker covered for her at the school and sent her over to see us for a little bit. It was great to visit with them and tell them a bit of what had happened since we saw them last. Then, it was time to hit the road, and see if we could make it to Washington yet that day. The Montanan's assured us that our timing was good -- Snow was predicted for their area in a couple of days! (Note: they did get snow -- and strong winds two days later! Billings got even more snow -- almost a foot!)

We enjoyed the scenery through Butte --massive open pit mines could be seen from the road. We stopped in St. Regis at the espresso stand -- more coffee! -- and took pictures of antique machinery for reference for Uncle Stan Likkel. : ) The view on the passes was spectacular once again, as we had lovely weather. In Idaho, we gained an hour as we passed back into Pacific Daylight Time. We were traveling so well, that we decided to use that extra hour and stay on the road until Ritzville. We could get rooms there at one of Mom & Dad's favorite motels, and have a nice short drive to home the next day.

That night at dinner, Dad said, "I'm kind of sad that it's almost over..." which made me feel very glad that he had had such a good time, and was not overly weary from all the days of travel...It's been a good, good trip!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Things we almost did...

Driving through the Black Hills...
The black rock of the Black Hills...
Fall in evidence...
Pactola Lake and Dam...

After some debate, and consideration of driving time required to get to Billings that day, we decided to skip the Crazy Horse Monument, and take Highway 385 through the Black Hills. It was a lovely drive, beautiful country -- Yellow aspens? alders? interspersed in the pines, and the black rock that makes the Black Hills was evident. Tidy ranches tucked in between the rolling hills...Sheridan and Pactola lakes shining blue in the sun...We really enjoyed that drive.

385 brought us through Deadwood. Dad said, "You'll be surprised what kind of town Deadwood is..." and he was right. I expected some ramshackle little cowtown, with grayed wood siding on sagging farm houses...and a tourist saloon or something. Instead, there were many brick buildings, ornate and tall. Apparently, some days past, Deadwood was a town of some significance. Still small for population, it winds through a narrow valley, and must thrive now because of tourism. There are way too many hotels for the number of people said to live there! If we'd had more time, it would have been fun to explore, and learn some history. All I know from the signs is that Wild Bill Hickok is buried there...I'm not sure thousands would come to see that...though I would have liked to have seen it...But we were pushing on...
Deadwood -- downtown...

I wasn't lying about Wild Bill's grave...


We returned to I-90 at Spearfish and soon were working our way through Wyoming...state of oil wells and repetitive scenery -- except for the Devil's Tower which we desired to stop and see...However -- when we finally got some accurate info about how long that loop of road would take, it was much too much (2hrs.) so we had to content ourselves with a distant view from I-90, which Mom PROMISED we would have. As we rolled around turn after turn, and no Tower in sight, we began to doubt her -- but she stuck to her guns, and she was right! Just a little further on, we could see it standing tall in the distance.

Though we had been disappointed to eliminate some of our desired stops, we determined that we WOULD take the time to go to Little Big Horn -- site of Custer's Last Stand. Along the way, we kind of lost track of our gas tank's capacity, and were unaware that there were only little towns left along the road until our destination. We went past a few signs for towns that were miles from the highway when Mom thought she remembered that Lodge Grass was close to I-90 and probably big enough to have a gas station.

We exited at Lodge Grass to find a reservation town...run-down, depressed, and not used to having visitors off the freeway. -- You could tell by the looks we got from...EVERYONE! The only gas station we could find had steel grates over every door and window, no paving around the gas pumps -- lots of wet potholes instead. People were busy gassing up beat-up cars and trucks, gas cans, motorcycles...We weren't feeling too sure that we should be there -- but we didn't know where the next station might be, and we knew we didn't have enough to get to Billings...So Randy started pumping, then discovered that it was $4/gal! We put in enough to get to Billings and got back to the freeway, deciding to keep an eye on the credit card statement, just in case! We left with thankfulness for our town, and our homes -- and some sorrow for the depressing conditions in which some people live.
We were now getting close to Little Big Horn, but the miles that day seemed to be taking long -- and by the time we got there it was almost 6pm -- closing time...So, once again, we saw it from a distance...I could see the fence around the graveyard, and the hill on which it lay...It gave me some perspective to imagine how the ambush took place...from a distance.
Oh -- that was a long day of driving! We did finally reach our goal of Billings, quickly got a hotel and some supper. On our way back to our hotel, Mom's phone unexpectedly rang -- We had no cell service in all of South Dakota and Montana, and Mom's was sporadic. That night it held up just long enough for Cait to call and report to Grandpa that one of his horses colicked badly that day. Cait had to call the vet out, and then they had to make the decision to put her down. Fortunately, it was very clear cut. Wendy was suffering, and would not get well -- so you do the humane thing. Cait had no doubts about the decision...She was just worried about telling her grandpa that one of his horses was gone. Of course, Grandpa and Grandma were more concerned about her having to deal with it than their feelings of loss...But Cait is a "horse-person" and she was actually the best person to handle that situation. Still kind of a surprise that one of the horses that Dad has had for years, would be gone when he comes home...When we were done talking to Cait, Mom's cell service disappeared again. We decided that God took care of Cait by letting her get through to us that night.

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)