It IS rocket science

An alternate title could be:  Space weather hits home in Mission. My mention of this event is partially because I am dang proud of our son and partly a response to my own ignorance in that:  I had no idea such opportunities were available in Montana!   Our son Ian has stumbled upon a payload.  He is a junior in engineering school at Carroll College and was recently accepted into a NASA Montana affiliate internship for this summer starting June 1.  It’s official title is:  MSGC/SSEL Summer internship program at MSU-Bozeman. He will be part of a team at MSU in Bozeman launching the first Montana satellite which is to monitor space weather and its effects on our own earth.  In their words:   “to develop a satellite mission that will carry payloads to further our understanding of disturbances to the earth’s environment known as Space Weather.  You will have an opportunity to participate in the scientific and engineering process that leads to the development of a satellite that carries instruments to monitor space weather effects.”   As a friend mentioned to me:  I had no idea there was such a thing as space weather.  Incidentally, their webpage for applications looks like it was designed by an engineer.  Egads.  Honey, maybe you could help them with that…

What a rocket scientist may look like…

Dry faucet


A couple months ago my sister in law sent me an article from one of the local newspapers in Forks, WA on the Olympic Peninsula which discussed the ultimate closure to one of our favorite campgrounds.  We have camped in this area for the last 20 years and definitely consider the Olympic Peninsula our second home despite all the current Twilight hoopla!   I assume closures like this are going on all over the country due to the economic crises which some states find difficult to adjust to.   We read the specs on Bogachiel State Park and they require around $300,00 to run that park and campground. This seems like an awful lot of money considering what we know about Bogachiel.  After reading the article I thought:   Give us half that and I bet we could make it work just fine!  Last year a site with hook ups was $23 per night.  Their bike camping is still around $8.  You pay 25 cents per minute for a hot shower, and it’s right in the trees by the Bogachiel River.

Closing state parks seems counter intuitive given the economic crisis since camping and outdoor recreation is still accessible to people who might be strapped for money right now or families who simply don’t wish to spend too much on vacations.  Interestingly enough, the Forks Chamber of Commerce reports that for each dollar the state spends on recreation in their area, the town of Forks gets back $7.   Now that is tried and true economic stimulus which has a solid track record. The last I heard the Washington legislature passed an optional $5 car tab fee in an attempt to keep three State Parks open this summer.  Good for them; I hope it works!

Montana parks seem to be doing fine.  The only thing we notice is that all the campgrounds seem to open later now and close earlier which is frustrating since so many Montana communities and towns rely heavily on the tourism dollar to keep themselves in the black.   Don’t turn off the water!  The above photo was taken at Big Arm State Park on the west shore of Flathead.  Big Arm opens May 1.

Zoe at six months

You are going to do what?


I would hide under the table too.  It does not seem possible but she’s about six months old and it’s high time!  After all, we don’t want to contribute to the overpopulation of unwanted animals around here.  Our kitten Zoe came home from the vet’s this morning after her spaying yesterday.  She is rather tired and not very playful but this evening she seems to be paying closer attention to all her favorite things.  She is all up to date on her shots too.  Thank goodness that is over.  Man, it isn’t cheap either!

earth & water


Like so many others, I too would like to recognize Earth Day. In some respects I strive to make each day around here a mini-earth day but it’s moving to see so many people joining together on April 22.  It’s good to take a moment of reflection about where we are going and what we as individuals and families can do to help make things better for all living beings on this beautiful, blue and green planet.  As many of you know my big thing is quiet water — actually, human powered craft of any kind turns me on! Humans have been messing around in boats for a long, long time and for many of us it is in our blood to paddle.   In several aspects we are of the water.    Here is a link to a Dutch woman who has built a remarkable wind powered craft and set it to sail on its own out to sea – unmanned.  Or in her case – unwomaned.  It has a propeller system built onto it which always points it with the wind and the project is rightly so named:  Wind vinder


“Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean an unmanned “windship” makes its way through the waves – almost transparent, people say, wings everywhere… and it is headed, without a doubt,  INTO THE WIND ! Born in 1971, Wipke Iwersen spent a great deal of her childhood and youth on the North Sea, on the sailing ship that belonged to her grandfather and then to her parents, and of which she herself is now the skipper.”

One Word ~ OSI

A breath of one word
the poet could search lifetimes
to simply find that
clear window of the spirit
elusive speech of the now.


The prompt this week at One Single Impression stumped me for a couple of days but here is my offering.   Thanks to all the poets there and to Sandy for her efforts.

This photo is another view which Matthew shot the other day from the west shore of Flathead Lake. Do not be deceived that the water looks inviting.   It is frigid, and it will stay that way until well into July.  There were other boats out fishing but we didn’t see anyone; we only saw the boat trailers at the dock and ramp.  Not even a hearty sailboat taking in the light wind.