– one –

Older photos  today (except the scrapbooking below) because this has been a week where I didn’t get out to photograph.  The photos here were taken last year in October, and the first two were taken in the area now closed due to fire.  My big hope is to get out tomorrow morning early and go to an open area and get some fall photos, because the colors are starting to change, and if I don’t get out soon I’ll miss them.  So, Lava Lake is my destination, hopefully with some company along the way as I’ve invited my two favorite men to join me (eh, that would be J and Andy, not necessarily in that order, but I’ll leave you guessing on that part).


– two –

So, I was assigned a mentee at church earlier this week, and wouldn’t you know it, that is just the week when I go all haywire and have a yelling screaming breakdown – basically behaving in a way that is absolutely not mentor quality and is really quite shameful.  I’m picking myself back up (with the help of a forgiving Lord and a forgiving husband), and trying to get back on track.  What a mess I am – and I suspect most anyone in the human category could say the same, but right now my focus is on getting myself cleaned-up and ready to be more glorifying to God. 

Life is often humbling, don’t you think?

– three –

I frequently post on a scrapbooking website (Studio Calico) letting the ladies there know I’ve blogged.  And usually I feel a bit self conscious because my posts rarely include the products of my scrapbooking.

Um, that would most likely be because I don’t do much scrapbooking these days.  Heck, it took me 3 or 4 months to do the page I’m sharing here (yes, I said months, not hours, not days, not weeks, indeed months).  I am so grateful to have a dedicated scrapbook space so that a project like this can sit for months, I can pass by, re-arrange the elements, do a little technique experiment, or whatever, and then walk on to do the other things that life is demanding of me.  Thus, a 3 – 4 month page process is possible in my world.

But the good news is that after finishing this last Saturday, I quickly (well, relatively quickly) punched out a single page layout, which was completed by the end of the day on Sunday.  I’ll share it next week sometime, because it is not photographed yet.


This page was inspired by a layout I saw on the Prima Blog some time ago – so long ago I cannot find it quickly.  But I do want to say I was inspired by their blog.  With two pagers I’ve always enjoyed having a photo that crosses the center split, because I use post albums, and when installed properly, that split is barely noticeable.  It just gives such better flow to the whole layout when I do this.  But it is not everyone’s “cup of tea.” 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this layout, particularly if you came here from Studio Calico and have noticed that I rarely blog layouts.  I’ll try to do better, but can’t make any promises.

– four –



We are so blessed to have our Bible Study families.  They are amazing.  I think I mentioned recently that we’ve been meeting with these couples in one form or another for 8+ years now.  And I have to tell you, they are just the biggest blessing to us.  We went camping with them, and yes, that was exciting and fun.  But the best part really is the weekly sharing of our lives as we study and talk about applying God’s word.  It really is the most enriching faith experience I’ve ever had.  I’ve heard some mighty good preaching in person and on the radio, but the small group experience just tops it all for me.


– five –

We were blessed recently by the gift of 24 packages (over a pound each) of ground bison – shot recently down in the Ennis area.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but that is like 2-3 months worth of red meat for our family.  Sure helps the budget out when this happens!  And it’s healthy (all natural/organic for sure).

Turns out the wealthy land owner who raises bison for the purpose of shooting it himself and letting his friends shoot them had his son take a 1600 pound guy in to be processed, and the son mistakenly had it all turned into burger, when the family prefers steaks.  Realizing it would just sit unused in their freezers (getting freezer burn) they kept some, but gave the rest to their chef, our friend Daniel, to distribute as he saw fit.  Guess who he saw fit?  Yep, we and many other families were blessed by the error of the young man.

Did I tell you Daniel is one of the men in our Bible Study group?  Yep, sure enough, he is. 

See you next week!

Categories: Art, Being a Godly wife, Daily life, Faith, Fire, Five on Fridays, Outdoors, Photography | 5 Comments


Now that fall is officially the season, I’m catching little hints of it.  As you can see from photo above, there was actually frost on the ground in recent weeks – not often, but once or twice.

And the trees are starting to get yellow – at least some of them are.
I keep hearing the phrase “tinder dry” on the news, referring to the landscape around here, especially when dry lightning storms are predicted.  Lots of local fear of more fires – the state government just extended “Wild Fire Season” because of how unusually warm and dry things are around here.  I feel like the whole fire season has somewhat dominated this blog, and believe me, I am ready for it to end!
I got some hope that we may get our wish when speaking to my wild-fire-fighting nephew today, where he indicated he’s back in town and believes he’s here to stay.  But honestly, a good dump of snow would confirm that for all of us.  There have been years where we’ve had snow by now, so it is not totally unrealistic.  Just to get some good snow feelings going, here’s some inspiration from last fall:

Yes, we are praying for snow to come soon – especially J, who loves snow more than any other weather condition God provides.

I’m sharing this post with Rural Thursdays and This or That Thursdays  and Thursdays Favorite Things Hop – won’t you come join us?

Categories: Daily life, Faith, Fire, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, This and That Thursdays | 9 Comments


I haven’t finished processing even a small fraction of the photos I took in Yellowstone over the weekend – I’ve got about 250 more to go.  But here are three just to give a taste.   (And don’t worry, I won’t bore you with all 250 over the next couple of days)

Keep in mind there are fires both in the park and around the perimeter of the park, so the conditions were smokey above and beyond the steam produced by the thermal features.

And this being the fall, Elk were predominately featured, both in their  bugles through the night, and their presence in the campgrounds and areas visitors frequent.

Hope to have more by tomorrow.
And thank you everyone for your kind words yesterday.  The day got better.  We talked with our other neighbor, who happens to be the daughter of the complaining neighbor, and she indicated that Tank does not really bark all day, and her parents were just being “fuddy-duddies” (her words, not mine).  So, we will be watchful and careful about the barking, but not feeling panicked about it at this point.  The Subaru is at the repair shop, and should be ready tomorrow.

Categories: Daily life, Family Fun, Fire, Outdoors, Photography, Tank | 7 Comments


If I caught the list up completely there would be over 100 things to include here – that is too many for one post.  So I’m just giving highlights for the couple of weeks.  Hope you don’t mind.

  • Successes in the office (trials won, settlements made in our client’s favor, the government held to appropriate standards as it intervenes in people’s lives;
  • J getting his first animal (Rough Neck Grouse) while hunting;
  • Less smoke from the fires than when they first started;
  • No homes lost to the Millie fire so far and that it continues to burn, but within the bounds of where it has already been, so it is not growing in size;
  • Clouds making the skies beautiful;
  • J’s confidence in himself is building;
  • Expensive car repair does not have to be done immediately – we have time to save up;
  • Baby born early is doing well;
  • Encouraging words from many sources;
  • Beautiful things to take photos of;
  • Learning to use speed lite off camera and other improvements in photography skills;
  • Squeaky noises from the Red Shafted Flickers down by the river;
  • Youth group joy for J
  • Opportunities (multiple) for J and Andy to spend time together
  • August was a very productive month at the office – and busy too!
  • Prayers answered within  hours of making them
  • New worship leader at church is talented beyond expectations and worship is enhanced!
Categories: Daily life, Faith, Family Fun, Fire, gratitude, Thankful to God, Uncategorized | 1 Comment


It is smokey again today (and yesterday), but the fire is 10% contained, and the wind is supposed to be calm today, with moderate but dry weather.  As I understand it, the next couple of days could be ripe for fire growth because of the warm dry conditions. 

I’m tired of taking photos of the smoke, so I’m just posting these from Saturday morning after the rain and I hope you enjoy them.



You might be getting the impression I like pink Hollyhocks.  Probably true.



But I also like the view off our back deck even though it shows how weedy and grassy I’ve let the flower garden get over the years.


Categories: Daily life, Fire, Photography | 5 Comments


Mid-day yesterday (8.31.12) the smoke was pretty bad.  Above is from the post office parking lot, and below is from the mouth of our driveway.

But about the time these photos were taken, the windshield showed signs of some hope.

It wasn’t enough to put the fire out, but every bit helps.  It rained again in the night.  The fire post says not enough to end the fire season because it was only 1/4 of an inch and we need 3/4 of an inch over 3 days to get things wet enough to last.  They characterize the rain as having minimal effect.  Okay, I get that, but this was a start, and it was an encouragement from God.  Especially because this morning we woke up to significantly less smoke and cooler temps – see below.


I love it!  So clean and clear!  And so much is photogenic – I’ve got lots of pictures of wet vegetation from the yard to share over the next few days.

Oh, and today is opening day of upland game season.  This is J’s first year with a license.  He, Tank and Andy went out, and J got a grouse – first ever.  Tank flushed it, J shot it, and I suspect Andy will be cleaning it.  We’ll be eating that with our dinner tonight and hopefully I’ll have photos in the next day or two. 

Categories: Daily life, Faith, Fire, gratitude, J, Outdoors, Photography, Tank | 4 Comments

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