Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Yellowstone Birthday

Now that we live where the deer and the antelope play, it seemed like a grand idea to head to Yellowstone National Park for my birthday day! It was a little ironic that I choose to spend my day with Old Faithful. (go ahead and snicker!) Although I'm not as quite as old as she is, I certainly have spent plenty of time blowing off steam in my lifetime!

Interestingly enough, there were a few other irony's throughout the day.

My surface has also started to dry and crack!

I also use warm mud potions!

I DO walk slippery when I am wet!

As if the wonder of an old geyser, blowing steam every 90 minutes wasn't enough to wow the crowd, my kids decided a little after blow show would be in order. Old people really seem to like this kind of thing. I'm not saying I liked it, because I'm sure not admitting I'm old.

I think the kids enjoyed the Gift Shop as much as anything!

Even in a National Park Gift Shop Andrew can find a CD to get excited about!

Our last adventure in "The Park" (as us locals call it!) was a dip in the Boiling River. No kidding! See all of those people in the background? This is a hot-spring-fed river that has the perfect temperature for just about anyone, if you can only find the right spot!

The water that is cascading down the rocks is from a hot water spring, and you could see the steam coming off of it. So imagine where the kids are here, would be like hot bath water. You do not see me in this shot because, well frankly, I don't like sweating IN the water. I'm back a few feet, to where the spring water and the river water mixed to a sensible refreshment.

Oh, and we swam with large animals.
This lady and her BFFs had a Girl's Day Out at the Boiling River, too.

So after a wonderful day trip to "The Park" we arrived home early enough to
indulge in a yummy chocolate birthday cake with the biggest candle ever!
And if I look a bit tired, it's probably because my mud mask is overdue!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meet Duke, the Perfect Dog!

We promised the kids a dog when we got to Montana. Well, sure as we crossed the Montana state line the questions started..."Can we get a dog now?" "When can we get a dog?" "Can we get a dog today?" So, the boundaries were set. As soon as the "house was finished" we would get a dog! So I had four very busy-bees working non-stop on their rooms. They also asked me from time to time if they could help me. They also broke down unknown numbers of cardboard boxes and hauled them to the recycle center. They are good children. They deserve a dog! So, when the floors were cleared and the boxes were gone, we took a trip to the Animal Shelter, only to leave broken-hearted. See, I had three criteria for the soon-to-be pet. (1) No shedding, (2) No bigger than a bread box, and (3) No puppies. The Animal Shelter apparently only carries furry, Montana-size dogs. Andrew tried to talk us into getting Charlotte, who was (1) very hairy, (2) much bigger than a bread box, and (3) had the look of puppy written all over her!!! Thank goodness for afore-mentioned criteria. So Charlotte will get to go home with another happy family.

Fast forward two days later; Jim and I were our scouting around some yard sales looking for a double box spring, two living room chairs, lamps, and other we-really-don't-have-the-house-done-quite-yet items. Standing there minding my own business, rummaging through a stack of North Face fleeces, a lady walks through the sale with a dog on a leash. She stops to chat with the lady having the yard sale, and I stop rummaging and ease drop. Apparently the dog's owners have just been admitted to a Nursing Home, and her family is "trying the dog out" but they're not really wanting such a small dog. She asked if she knew of anyone wanting a dog. I look at Jim, he looks at me, and I chime in "Does he shed?" That was the beginning of the end of our search for the bread-box-sized, mature, non-shedder. So, that is Duke's story. He is a Macalister, bred close by in Manhattan, MT. Glenn Close has two of these dogs. Be impressed. But I bet she did not get hers at a yard sale!

Monday, July 21, 2008

8 Minutes Left...

...that's what it says at the top of my screen. I'm sitting in the Bozeman Public Library, using the internet here, because we still don't have it at the house. Tomorrow, between 1:00 and 3:00. They promised. I worked three hours this morning on our bedroom, but you sure couldn't tell by looking! Unless you open my drawers. Three hours is how long it took me to purge my dresser drawers. Yikes!

Sunday services were good yesterday. The youth pastor preached, and as uncomfortable as he said he was, he did great. Jim went to work today. He will preach next Sunday. We were asked out to lunch by a new couple in the church. They want to know what is up, and what is going to happen with the church. We are excited to know them, and hope they stay!

(Just got a log off memo!)

So, thanks to those of you who follow us on our new journey. We are having a blast!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

From 71 to 39 in 10 minutes!

Last night Jim and I decided to take a drive to Hyalite Canyon. A fifteen-minute drive from our house would take us up the mountains to a beautiful lake. Apparently there is good hiking there. We started our assent with our car windows down, enjoying the beautiful 71-degree-summer-evening weather. It felt as if a storm were a'brewin', and sure enough it started to rain. So up went the car windows. Moments later, the rain turned to snain (I'm pretty sure that's what weather folk call a combination of snow and rain!) and as we progressed up the mountain, we soon found ourselves on a road covered with two-inches of frozen slush. Yikes! The air temp had dropped to 39 degrees, and Jim commented how it would be a good idea to always carry jackets in the car! A good idea, a little late. So we reached Hyalite Canyon Lake, but the parking lot was crazy with ice/snain/whatever, so we decided not to hike! In fact we didn't even stop because we thought we might get stuck! I just imagined the headlines "Novice Bozemanites Found Frozen in Hyalite" Yeah, I'm going to get those jackets in the car today!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Be Scared, Very Scared

Those of you who have lived in small towns may be accustomed to reading the Police Reports in the local papers. In four years of Chicago living, I don't think I once read any Police Reports, and that may be the reason I enjoyed reading the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's Police Reports last night.
*An erratic driver in a pick-up with oversized tires on Interstate 90 at 1:49am was found to be an inexperienced driver rather than under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A deputy gave the driver and an intoxicated passenger a ride to the KOA campgrounds at Four Corners.
*An impending fight at Bozeman Hot Springs around 2:30am never materialized.
*A caller reported about 11:30am that a man in a black convertible was reading a book while driving on Interstate 90.
*A deputy left a note in a sock for two boys who were burying several in the sand near River Rock Pond saying, "Please pick up your socks and stop burying them." The boys had been reported at 1:12pm, burying and then uncovering the socks and removing contents that had been placed inside. The deputy previously found one sock containing one candy wrapper, a stick and several gun pellets.
*Three men left the Willow Creek Bar and Saloon without paying for their meal at 10:04pm.
And my personal favorite....
*An errant sheep found with a bloody head was apparently the cause of a smashed, sliding-glass door at a residence on Merrell Lane in Belgrade as reported at 8:17pm. (An errant sheep?!)

Looks like the Police Reports alone will be worth the price of a subscription. If impending fights and errant sheep are all we have to worry about around here, we have arrived!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Keenas Have Landed

You know your kids have been in the city too long when:
Your eleven-year-old says "THERE'S HORSES IN THAT TRUCK!!!"
Your nineteen-year-old says "There's a GOPHER...that's kind of creepy."
Your seventeen-year-old says "She looks cool, especially with that tatoo!"
Your thirteen-year-old doesn't say anything because she's listening to her ipod.

The trip west was great! Uneventful, well except for all of the events. The strangest, and most interesting, by far was Porter's Sculpture Park in nowhere South Dakota. The 65' bulls' head sitting along side the highway peaked my curiosity more than I could ignore, so I pulled off the road, and followed the hand-painted signs. What we found was a father/son duo, living in a trailer on-site of their own hand-crafted tourist trap, with Admission Fees and all. In another life, I would have turned right around and left disgusted, when I saw the Admissions Fees, but for some reason I am more curious, more adventuresome than before. And, I had cash. The sculptures were most interesting, made of metal in Dad Porter's blacksmith shop. (I will try and post photos) Each sculpture had a hand-painted sign explaining the piece, and I was a bit taken aback by the philosophical portrayal of each. Much more thought provoking than I expected.

All that aside, I must mention the insane birds. Son Porter warned us that as we walked through "the park" there were Eastern King birds (I think) that were nesting in some of the sculptures. They would attack! Whatever...I thought it was part of the show. But he was speaking truth! As I was admiring the 25' fishbowl sculpture, one of the insane birds dive bombed my head. I swatted at the pest, only to be dive bombed a second time by he and his buddy. They continued to fly at me until I had walked (okay, I ran!) far enough away from the nest I was intruding. This sent the kids reeling with laughter, except David. It sent him running for the car! Now I had paid good money for him to experience this, so I braved running back through the possessed trail, to the car to get him. As the birds flew at me again, and I ran swatting, from the safety of the car David was laughing hysterically. Son Porter gave us the keys to a golf cart to drive around "the park" so the birds would not bother us. It was fabulously bird-free!

So, next time you're driving on 90W through South Dakota, stop at the large bull's head. In spite of the birds, or maybe because of them, it really is a memorable experience!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

This is it!

Mostly packed.
No heavy-lifters scheduled to help us on Tuesday.
My elbow is still hurt.
Feeling overwhelmed!

Today is Bethany's birthday!
We are going swimming.
I will feel better.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

So Many Emotions

Jim is coming home today, after four days away. He took Grace and David to see Grandma and Grandpa Keena. They've had a good time there; Cardinals baseball game, swimming with the Ducketts, time with the cousins, two hours at the river yesterday. Jim's Dad continues to be more confused, and this trip, has not really recognized Jim. Sadness.

While they have been gone, I have been a busy little bee, with lofty goals of having "everything done" by the time they get home. I've taken everything off the walls, packed the kitchen, visited Bethany twice, spackled holes in the walls, packed the linen closet and bathroom, ate out alone, donated four boxes of stuff to the Goodwill, watched a lot of old TV shows, and hurt my elbow. Really hurt my elbow. I have several more hours of packing I could get done before they arrive home tonight, but now I'm stopped cold. Pain.

Bethany got a call yesterday from a good friend in Colorado who is an Associate Pastor. He offered her a job at a church in Denver, as a Receptionist/His Assistant. She has always dreamed of living in Colorado. He is one of her very best friends. She would be closer to Montana. She could finish her degree at Denver Seminary. She is not sure. Possibility.

Bailey has gotten her first tooth. I was right! See, Christa called several days ago concerned that Bailey was sleeping too much (9:00pm - 10:00am). I told Christa that she is probably just teething! Truth.

It's less than a week before we pull out of here. I'm tired of packing. I'm tired of planning. I am looking forward to trading in these mountains of boxes for the Bridgers! Anticipation!