It was a weekend


The sun is setting now pale pink and mellow after a hot day.  It is getting warm here in western Montana and it actually feels like summer.  We met up with our son Ian, who is currently working in Bozeman, and his sweetheart in Helena this weekend.  We also invited my in-laws for a little weekend family time spent Montana style out under a clear blue sky.  To seek an iced Mocha at the General Mercantile is where we meandered first lingering over our cold, tasty drinks and catching up with the young people, and then we had an early dinner at a big table in a family restaurant later.  The evening ended with the procurement of ten computers and flat screened monitors from the Montana State warehouse depot here in Helena for Matthew’s school district, which made our trip complete.  Free working computers – wow!  More work for Matt – oh boy.  Actually, it is a wonderful program which distributes surplus machines from all government offices and agencies; recycling the good computers, monitors and printers to the schools.

Helena was a busy city this weekend with the Air Show and the antique car gathering going on plus the music festival.  We could see or hear the air show and the music from just about anywhere.  Also, for me, Helena is always a fun place to grab an interesting photo or two.  Above is a big mural over a downtown shop.  The steeple to the right is not part of the sign.  Below is one of the older buildings on the Carroll campus – St. Albert, which used to house nuns but is now faculty offices.


Griz & Skeeters

alva ~~ We are still smiling about our attempt to go camping.  For various reasons we decided to take our Kelty tent to try it out and the new Big Agnes mattresses we bought for our coastal trip next month. (Yes, we finally are going to go.)  No sooner had I slipped the camp fee into the tall brown forest service box in the campground at Lake Alva, than the camp host walked up to me and asked:  “Are you in a tent?”

“Well, yes Ma’am, we are.”  I replied.  “Well, we thought you should know there is a grizzly down the road.  So far, he’s been behaving but since you are in a tent we wanted you to know.”   (Crap.)  “Be careful with any food you get out. Do not leave a thing on the table.”  I already knew the procedure since we camp in Glacier Park so much.  I have a HUGE respect for grizzly bears.   The campground was strangely silent but it was only the early afternoon and more folks would surely be coming in soon.

Oh well, we shrugged it off and spent the rest of the afternoon and far into the evening on Lindbergh Lake.  (Yes, named after Charles Lindbergh, the famous pilot, who spent the better part of a summer there just because he loved the place so much.)

We came back to our tent about 8:00 and it was quiet as a tomb (besides the radio playing from one camper on the far end)  and empty except for us and a pick-up camper way down on our loop.  Weird.  Mind you, Lake Alva has a very large campground.  It was the only moment ever when I wanted other campers around us.  And then the mosquitoes descended.  Man, did they descend.  Oh boy.  We bagged it. We were being cautious. We are wimps. Bear food, maybe.  Mosquito food?  Never. The bed at home sounded pretty good and we’d had a great paddle on the lake.  Our day was already complete.  Funny, Aly was happy to see us when we rolled in to home later.  We were glad to see him too.

PS:  I sadly did not take my camera out on the lake while we were canoeing because of a brisk wind and I didn’t want to risk it getting wet.  Thus, I don’t have a lot of photos.  I am consoled by the fact that I can clearly envision the bear happily sniffing these flowers (enlarge above)  in an empty campground.  Those are happy flowers!  This photo was taken two years ago at Lindbergh Lake.  lindberg

Random Access

Just goes to show you when you park your empty cart next to a white picket fence ….


the cart is still empty.


I love you, fish!  Don’t tell Matt.


We are going camping for a couple days. I will be back Friday with more … something.  Be well friends and pass along a smile today to someone who needs it – or better yet – a big hug.

Looking out a window

Various images (all enlarge) taken out some window this week.  Below is a shot out of my sister in law’s window in Missoula yesterday on Father’s Day.


I have more basil growing this season than any one pesto-crazed person needs.  I have to keep it all in pots because otherwise it becomes overnight an insect specialty – gourmet slug food.  That is a term I swiped from Suz in Vancouver.

And our lovely Mission Mountains tonight just about 30 minutes ago. I was wearing my wool sweater most of the day.

Tomorrow is forecasting more sunshine so the garden should go nuts.  Snowy peaks above and basil below – I feel content.


Assimiliation ~ OSI

Seriously speaking
I do not play well with others
if I have to wear the same clothes
or learn how to talk the talk
or think the same ideas
to fit in.

Genetics functions well
for a reason.
Nature knows best;
God wants us different
or you don’t get an Einstein
who still couldn’t talk at four
and whose thoughts changed the world

or Mozart, who carried entire musical works
around in his head like a chorus of colors.

We are all a mixed bag of influences,
sources, materials, elements, and passion –
at certain junctures this might appear

We are the perfect flaw.

I argue my point and he looks incredulous.

“You say that like it’s a good thing.”


Please visit other poets or join us at One Single Impression.

Thanks to Gautami of  Rooted for the prompt idea.

Photo of the week ~ Steptoe Butte

Once again, our friend Bill Carroll from Colfax, WA was in the right place at the right time.  He was up early one morning last week and look what he found on Steptoe Butte.  Here is Bill’s tongue in cheek comment on this photo:

People come here from far and wide to steal pictures from us, and I caught this guy red handed early this morning. I don’t know what they see in this place. View is north and east from Steptoe Butte.


Catching the water

hollandnearfalls ~~I’ve heard it said that the best sailing is when the captain has no schedule.  Only set sail when you don’t have to be anywhere in a hurry and all will be well.  If you are pressed to begin the journey and cannot wait for fair weather, then chances are things won’t go so well. The same is true about any trip taken by boat. If you’ve ever spent an entire afternoon paddling against waves and wind, working hard with little advancement,  trying to simply stay on course then you’ll know what I mean.  Not that riding the waves on Flathead Lake or Holland isn’t kind of fun… for about 5 minutes.

This day we were 2 plus miles from our launch point and a head wind started picking up a bit so we followed the path of least resistance and went ashore onto the next little beach we could find to sit it out awhile.  Usually if dark clouds do not gather then the wind will shift, which it did in a about a half hour.  As you can see we came prepared for a little sun worship. An Arizona tea and a peanut butter sandwich – you are all set!


Besides, look at the pretty things to be discovered not just on the water – like this wild Columbine growing near a little stream flowing into the lake.  Because of the water source this Columbine was larger than those flowers I have at home! And what an exquisite yellow flattering it’s driftwood arrangement.  Nature is sometimes the best gardener.

No walls ~ OSI


This was a singular paddle on Thursday at Holland Lake in that there were no motorized craft out on the water.  It was just us, another canoe and two kayaks. I had to keep pinching myself.  The quiet water is hauntingly beautiful.

If there are walls here
then they are  invisible
their presence hidden
phantom boundaries exist
only within my own heart.

Join us at One Single Impression for this week’s prompt of Walls brought to us by Fledgling Poet.