Monday, December 29, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Curious about Libby? Here's a good book:
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I also love the live flock of wild turkeys that roams up and down my country road, so much so that I still buy my turkey to eat at the grocery store. Did you know that hen turkeys cheep? I can hear them cheeping as they come across my lawn hoping for handouts.
The flock of wild turkeys actually ate with my rooster every morning until Roo committed rooster suicide. (Jumped into the dog pen with a German Shepherd, cock-a-doodling until the very last moment, when the dog jumped up to catch him, and then wondered why Roo wouldn't play, as the feathers drifted through the air. Life is pretty harsh sometimes. And I really miss Roo. I never thought I would, but I do. He looked so good on my doorstep, with goose, his companion. You've heard of gender confusion. Roo had species confusion. I promise to write more about the deceased Roo soon.)
But the really cool thing that you've got to hear is the very loud gobble gobble gobble of the male turkey. He puffs himself up like a massive beach ball with feathers and comes trotting across the field with his harem of turkey hens, gobbling whenever there is a hint of danger. Danger: When our little black fiend of a rescue dog, Sammy runs out and chases them. Sammy loves to chase turkeys, but he doesn't really want to catch them. He just likes to see the great big huge birds launch suddenly, fly straight up into the air, and land in the the tippity top of the tallest pine trees. Now, that is REALLY something to see.
Ben Franklin was all for naming the turkey our national bird, rather than the eagle. I can see why. They are amazingly spry and strong in spite of their butterball reputations. And, they don't kill other animals to eat (except for the occasional worm) the way the eagles do. Don't get me wrong, eagles are beautiful. But they are also killers, they'll eat fish, mice, other birds, rabbits, cats, small dogs, kid goats- anything with blood, really. As long as they can get their talons into it and carry it away. Turkeys are way cool, not as stupid as the cartoons would have us think, taste good, and are good company. They are peaceful. Isn't that what we all want? Hooray for turkeys.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thousands of people are signed up and will start sending in their words on November 1, when the word counter will keep track of how you are doing. There are "regions" all over the world, and you can hook up with buddies and writing partners, on line, through forums or in person. The NW Montana writers are planning a coffee date on November 1. I see Cape Cod has quite a few signed up as well.
So try it. What have you got to lose? It's a gas, and there is nothing like a deadline. Don't worry, just write write write. I have just finished the eighth version of my very first novel, and it has taken me more than three years. So I am dying to unload all the other ideas that have been piling up in my brain into a totally different book, and get the first try done in one month. What a time saver. What an opportunity. I will rise at four, drink coffee, and write till six, feed the horses, work, and then do it again in lieu of the boob tube at night. I will. I am willing. Are you?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
So who was it? Barbara Austin, one of the Morse brothers, Keith Rose, Matt Parent, Paul Suggs, or maybe an out-of-towner, like Anton Christian. All of these contenders were doing pretty well in the preliminaries. The pictures above were taken in '07 at the fest. This year is so different: weather and health and wealth and politics and all of it. But I am imaging every face there, every person I know. All my Paine relatives. Dozens. We like oysters, and our numbers prove it.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
You can't go to the post office or grocery store in Bigfork right now without seeing someone receiving a multitude of hugs as they try to get their errands done. The hug recipients are family and friends of the very recently deceased. Tragically, Bigfork has lost three young people in the last two weeks on the highway. Two young men in one car, 27 and 26 years of age, and one young lady in another separate accident, 29 years old. No one was wearing a seat belt. All had plans for the future. They won't be experiencing the future. A fisherman , 43, drowned on Monday, the 6th, when the forcasted winds whipped up the water on flathead Lake, and he came off his personal watercraft. A young man who cooks at a Bigfork restaurant for a living confided in me that he had been to three funerals in the past week, and "It hurts. This is just a small town."
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Next, Dr. Erfle administered her various vaccinations and wormers and checked her hoofs for me, and then he gave me the bill, which was less than $200. Much less than an office visit when I show up at my dentist. And Dr. Erfle came to my barn! So, there is still something of good value in this country. You just have to know where to find it. And it's far from Wall Street.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Now, right away, that was an experience. In Massachusetts, you have to have a license to carry pepper spray. And in Montana, you could buy BEAR pepper spray and carry it around like nobody's business. That felt pretty good, although now I was deathly afraid of the bear SPRAY. What if it was manufactured at the end of a Friday shift, and the lemon of a spray mechanism went off in the car? Could we die of bear pepper spray? Apparently we could.
All this courage was necessary to move about in Montana. Courage to walk up the trail into the Jewel Basin when the grizzlies were collecting huckleberries. No, don't wear bear bells, our hosts said. The bears know that means Knapsack with Food. Well, we didn't know if our hosts were joshing us flat landers or not- we who lived at sea level and fished from Cape Cod Bay. So we didn't wear bells, and we did bring bear spray. Well, my husband did, with our host. I stayed back at the cabin, anxious and worried, and very relieved when my husband came back alive, to relate to me the experience of being snorted at from the bushes, and coming upon steaming bear scat on the trail. And as I was saying, it is necessary to dig out the courage when you move about in Montana.
In June of 2006, we bought a house out here. In June of 2007, we said a tearful good-bye to our Cape Cod relatives, neighbors and friends, and moved on out. Living in Montana had been on my husband's bucket list for years, ever since A River Runs Through it was published.
Yeah, yeah, heard that before, right? And as we arrived, all the astounded people who we had met out here, and who had known us for a short period of time, asked the main question of us: Well, hell yeah, the scenery is outstanding, but you can't eat the scenery! What are you going to DO?
And that's what we Cape Codders have been trying to figure out ever since, along with the rest of the country. In the meantime, there are notable differences between living in the great US of A on Cape Cod, and in the Flathead Valley. And so, that is what I will be noting here for you- the notable differences. And surprising similarities.