Faux Flowers


I mentioned that I’d show you flowers but this is not what you expected, is it? These were taken at the Bellagio Gardens on the strip in Las Vegas.
I did not care for the strip, but the art and the Gardens were very interesting. It was way, super crowded everywhere we went down there
so we did not stay long. A little fact: Las Vegas grew from 325 k about 20 years ago and now it is 2.2 million. (According to our Taxi driver who used to work at
Caesar’s Palace as an assistant manager of food and beverage.)

Speaking of big those bees up there were huge.  Below is a display in a shop window. The odd thing is – there was never anyone inside the shops.  Only clerks.


It is difficult to relay the scale of this space. Notice the woman with her back to me… and the Carousel is big enough to ride but not for people

only for show. That’s Las Vegas for you. My first time to visit this city and I’m not sure I would return. Pretty much everything is …. faux.

Monday night Ukulele fun!

The Missoulian ran a featured article about our Ukulele Jam in last Sunday’s paper. Matthew and I started teaching Ukulele three winters ago as part of the school’s adult education series. Since then we’ve seen big changes. The class turned into a weekly jam and now we have a big group of very faithful players who gather each Monday evening in our local library to play and sing.

Vince did a really nice job on the story. He and his photographer stayed the whole session to see what we are up to in the Mission Valley. We are pretty proud of our group which has grown to well over twenty players in the last three years. If this were Seattle, and one used the same ratio to our town’s population, we’d have – whoa – a lot of members. Thousands. In the last week we’ve received many inquiries from others all over the northwest who want to start up groups in their own locale. As far as I know we are the only ones doing this in Montana right now, but not for long!

Rural areas and small towns need positive social activities where people live. Urban areas have scads of things for people to do. Distractions are around every corner with music blaring out of every door. Not so in small towns like ours. There’s the bar, there’s school sports, and there’s church. We had no idea our little group would grow like this and we feel very lucky to be a part of it.

Thanks to all the wonderful people who come out regardless of the weather each Monday night to play music with us. Uke on!

Ukulele Jam

Sweet moments

The vows and the rings stop time just for a moment.  Can this man be my little boy? Could that woman be their little girl? I think there might be a song in that…


Our friend Steve, Alasdair, Matthew and I played an original piece for three ukuleles and bass which we composed for the ceremony.

Signed, sealed and delivered. They are well married!  These photos by Rhonda Jensen


These are my famous peacock feather stockings. This Mama still has it goin’ on, what? Check them out on Etsy; made by a couple in Tel Aviv. Note: the peacock feathers were a theme; pretty much everyone wore a feather in their corsage or hair.

C & ! #1 2011 logo mat-1
Congratulations to Ian and Caitlin!  This photo by Al Kajin

The Chief

Chief Cliff across from where my folks live. The gray days of January must be getting to everyone.  Still isn’t this a beautiful scene?  White snow, gray sky, white snow on gray…. filtered light on snow. Gray rock walls with snow.  Okay, there IS variety in winter!


We're all cousins

Well, except for the two guys. Those are the husbands of the cousins. From Sept. 11 cousins’ reunion in Moses Lake, WA. I just love this photo. We all laughed until our sides were sore. The gift of family. ( I was kneeling. No, I am not that little!) And, if you ever drive through Moses Lake, WA, check out the BBQ Depot. What a wonderful place to eat! My cousins own it!


Conversing with 18 year olds on Facebook

Follows is an exchange that I had with our younger son’s new girlfriend (Emily) and his best friend (Dylan) on Facebook.  Our son starts the thread off with an innocent complaint about the sunburn he got last weekend.  Alasdair went Saturday and Sunday to a big concert at The Gorge in central Washington state – a place where the sun really knows how to shine. It was very hot with little chance of finding shade. The place is a rock wall gorge which forms a natural amphitheater. Like I said – hot. I tried to teach my boys about sun screen but what can I say?  He is eighteen.

The whole thing is just too humorous not to share!


Whatcha' doing?


Judy, from Lilacgate,  mentioned that the Alpacas looked like they are wearing baggy, four-legged PJ’s. I actually think that is pretty funny. They really are adorable – but yes, they do spit! Just a little. And a friend told me they Hum if you pet them. I didn’t pet them because there were two HUGE guard dogs in the field with them. I suppose they are worth a lot of money.  I have a sweater made from Alpaca wool which I love. I guess I will have to be content with that.

This big work horse was in the field prior to us finding the Alpacas.  Matthew took this photo of  Mr. Huge.  He really needs to call in the hair dresser though because the Suzanne Summers look doesn’t work.  Look at the muscles on this animal; now that is real horse power.  On another note, I just discovered that I don’t have a category for pets or farm animals. I guess these are all a little wild…

heavy horse

Rain or shine

It’s going to rain, isn’t it? Ah, I wanted to haz a picnic!


This is our cat Finn who is looking unnecessarily morose. Come on, Finn – cheer up. We can have a picnic in between rain showers.  Tomorrow we’re going to try a leisurely hike, rain or shine. No, you don’t have to go. You can stay at home and eat Greenies.