Montana

Welcome to the New Year (just a little late)

 

 

I’ve been busy this new year and am just now getting around to posting here.  Fortunately for me, some of my busy status has involved my camera.  So I’ll share a few photos along with a few update facts.  Hope you enjoy.small-4305Spent the morning of the first day of the year on the Gallatin River – cold but beautiful!

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Looking to a year of growth in professional life for both Andy and I – he as an attorney, me as a photographer.  This starting to identify myself as a photographer is hard – I envision a full schedule and a fully developed business is necessary, but the fact is those things will not come until first I identify myself as a photographer.  Sometimes I struggle to get things in the right order, but I’m working on it!

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My “one little word” for this year is Photography.  Yep, trying to fully integrate this identity.  Plus, it just brings me great joy!  I have so many photography project ideas and I’m (well, really, Andy and I) am/are working on a way to get me the time to implement those ideas.

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J has started back to karate team practice with a big goal/dream of going to nationals again this year.  His skills I think will qualify him.  What he really will be challenged by is raising the funds to get to the actual event, which is all the way in Florida, and he can’t go alone.  We placed the responsibility on him for that, and he’s thinking through what that might look like.  But right now he’s a bit distracted by the pending “final exams” which he will take for the first time in less than 10 days.  He’s growing into so much so quickly!

 

That is it for the updates today.  Hope to be back again soon!

Categories: Andy, Blessings, Daily life, Family photographer, Gallatin River, J, Karate, Montana, Montana weather, My Backyard, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Winter | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

 

 

small-0422 My gratitude book/list is almost full – don’t worry, I’m already shopping for the next volume.  Giving thanks is such a meaningful and productive part of my life, I don’t think I’ll ever stop.  So, here is where I am this week:

3716.  Unexpected afternoon off with J.

3717.  Seeing ice climbers up on the ice falls in Hyalite Canyon – inspiring and encouraging.

3718.  Super nice ice climber who returned J’s dropped wallet at some significant effort.

3719.  Encouraging developments around photography business. 

3720.  Working with nice people at MCS fundraiser dinner.

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3721.  J finding connections with classmates getting easier.

3722.  Quick check-in with Holly

3723.  Getting lots of photos processed

3724.  Inspiration for some photo projects.

3725.  Good discussion at Bible Study

3726.  Americana chicken laid a blue egg after two months off for molting – a beautiful blue egg!

small-04343727.  Ann Voskamp on the importance of Jesus’ family tree

3728.  Arrison sleeping at my feet.

3729.  Good mango for breakfast two days in a row!

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3730.  Warmer weather – supposed to be 40 degrees today!

3731.  Needed reschedule granted

3732.  Andy’s kindness/generous heart for J and I

3733.  Good friends all around!

3734.  No wreck when swerving to avoid sudden obstacle in the road – and J impressed with my crisis driving.

Categories: Autumn, Barns, Blessings, chickens, Daily life, Faith, Fall, gratitude, Montana, Montana weather, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Thankful to God | 1 Comment

LOVE LIVING RURAL!

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Photos from a drive around my neighborhood yesterday morning – cold and clear!

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Poor cows must be very cold – wearing a blanket of snow doesn’t sound very warm to me.

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It was negative something or another as I drove around, so most of these are shot out my car window – not the best, but you make do with what you have access to.  I just wasn’t ready to be walking.

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Did go for a cold cold walk in the afternoon/evening with Andy.  We got a later start than intended and that really impacted our experience.  Started at 4 degrees, which is cold but okay if dressed properly and moving.  By the time we got back to the car it was -8, which is just too cold for me.  I was probably kind of whinny.  Yeah, so mature of me, I know.

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Categories: Autumn, cows, Daily life, Fall, Light, Montana, Montana weather, My Backyard, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Weather, Winter | 2 Comments

DEVELOPING POLAR VORTEX . . .

small-0269  As expected, woke up to snow this morning and temps in the single digits.  Poor baby chickens aren’t going to know what hit them!  Should be even colder tomorrow.

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Not that it would be all that interesting to you, but this morning did inspire me to replace my missing marmot hat.  I loved that hat.  I searched for it for days to no avail.  So a trip to REI brought a new favorite into my life.  If I get the nerve maybe I’ll do a selfie and show you the new acquisition later this week.

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I was able to get these photos just barely.  Literally there was only about 20 minutes of break through sunshine.  I noticed it developing as I was coming down the high way from the bus stop for J, and I wished I had my camera with me to pull over and capture the magic.  But I didn’t, so prayed for it to last long enough to get home, run into the house, grab the camera and head out to the back (south) end of our property to capture the rays playing off the neighbor’s out buildings.

You know it is going to be a good day when such an adventure actually works out!

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This last photo was taken from a few feet off my back deck, and just caught the tail end of the light.  A few minutes later the sky was socked in again and little wispy flakes were falling.  But it was beautiful while it lasted!

Categories: Autumn, Barns, Blessings, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Light, Montana, Montana weather, My Backyard, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Weather, Winter | 1 Comment

SUNRISE OF THE WEEK

sm-0125My friend/second cousin Hannah and I are sharing a favorite sunrise or sunset from each week.  This is mine for the first week of November.  So sorry Hannah that I’m a day late in getting it up.

Categories: Daily life, Fall, Montana, Montana weather, My Backyard, Outdoors, Photography, Sunrise | Leave a comment

WELCOME NOVEMBER!

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sm-0209The first day of November was marked by winter storm warnings.  It got windy (thus the leaves flying around in the photo) and there was some moisture spit on us, but big winter storm never materialized. 

 

Categories: Autumn, Fall, Fall leaves, Leaves, Montana, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, Weather | 1 Comment

TANK IS IN LOVE!

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The 22 new chickens arrived this afternoon and Mr. Tank could not be happier.  I mean really, he thinks this is the best thing that ever happened.

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He spent all afternoon and evening following them around sniffing their little vents – that is how he’s going to recognize them as he herds them around the property!  He now knows the smell of each and every one of them – probably has named them as well!

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They are his new little babies.  He will watch over them all day while we are gone, and try to help to get them into the coop at night.  Every day when we leave for work we tell him to watch out for the kitties and the chickens and he takes those responsibilities very seriously!

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He’s a bit confused as to why these new additions are so small.  He doesn’t realize that some of them are just very young and others of them are Bantam so they won’t get really big like his other chickens.

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It took Tamara and I almost a full hour to get these ladies (at least we hope they are mostly ladies) into the dog kennel so I could bring them home.  The did not want to leave their siblings and parents or Tamara who is an amazing small farm manager.  She has sheep, chickens, ducks, sometimes turkeys, a horse or two, and lots of dogs and cats.  It is always fun and friendly to go over to her place.

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Tank will have to look out for roosters in the new bunch – we haven’t had one before, and while I would not object to one or two of them, I don’t think we want more than that.  We tried to sex them – have you ever tried to sex chicks/pullets when you really know nothing about how to do it?   I’ll let you know how that went in a few weeks when we find out.

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I hope all their feathers come in soon because . . . well, it is supposed to get cold pretty soon.  They will need their feathers to help them stay warm (although we have put a warming light into the coop).  And I don’t expect eggs from them for at least a few weeks, and for those hatched in late summer, not until after the first of the year.

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Amazingly, when we put the young ones into the coop for bed tonight with the big older ladies, it was relatively peaceful – well, once we got them all in there, which took another hour since the babies didn’t really know how to get into the coop and had to be helped to know what to do.  It was all I could do to keep Tank from trying to go into the coop as his babies were settling down to sleep.  I think he was jealous that they were cuddling together and he was left out.  There were even a couple of babies cuddled up to the warm bodies of the old ladies.  It was pretty cute.

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Tank was so proud to help get the chicks into the coop – he found all the strays that were hiding in the long grasses, barked at them so they go so scared they froze and then I could pick them up and put them in the coop.

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It is going to be a fun transition!  And Tank is just in seventh heaven!

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Categories: Autumn, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Montana, Photography | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

15 MINUTES AT MY HOUSE THIS MORNING

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Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, Light, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Weather | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

WEEKLY GRATITUDE FROM THE HEART

There is so much to be thankful for in this life  and I don’t ever want to forget it.

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3628.  A day at home doing chores as a family.

3629.  Good family walk/talk.

3630.  J joining the adults to celebrate a 75th birthday party after being specially invited by the birthday girl.

3631.  Studying the Christmas story in detail.

3632.  Forgiveness from friends after a mis-step.

3633.  Support from Andy in an emotionally difficult time.

3634.  Connecting with Alicia.

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3635.  Plenty of rain to keep the countryside fresh and green well into the fall.

3636.  Bumper crop of apples – enough to share with friends

3637.  J getting to participate in homecoming traditions for first time.

3638.  Good advice from Jeremy.

3639.  Knowledge that God is in control when things seem to be flying out of control.

3640.  Paul’s good music leadership at worship.

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3641.  Cooking with fresh eggs

3642.  Beautiful place to live all year-long – stunning views of storms coming in.

3643.  Family who lives close enough to visit for a weekend.

 

Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Extended Family, Faith, Fall, Gallatin River, gratitude, J, Montana, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, River, Thankful to God | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BRINGING BACK FIVE ON FRIDAY – MY J

Been a while since I did a five on Friday so thought I’d go for it again.  And it has been a while since I’ve focused on my boy, so this time, five photos and five facts focused on my so.

ONE

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It was weird to take photos during  a worship service, but what mom could resist memorializing her son’s participation as part of the worship team.  This was actually his second service participating.  It isn’t every week that he plays his cajon, but he really looks forward to it.  He’s working towards playing the full drum set in a service, and since his drum teacher is also the worship leader for the service we attend, I think he’ll get there.

 

TWO:sm-6J is a very social guy – loves to be with his peers and loves to attend family orientated activities.  He’s got friends from our Bible Study/church group, friends from his current school, friends from his old school, and friends from karate.  Some of his friends (as above) are younger, especially at karate.  But at school many of his friends are older (he eats lunch with the Juniors).  And since he moved up to the adult class at karate, he is putting his ability to relate to adults to good use and has lots of adult friends.  Just this week he was the only under 40 invited to a birthday party for a woman turning 75, and she was very specific she wanted him there.  Socially he’s in good shape.

 

THREE

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Although he doesn’t have a girl friend, or date (or even express an interest in actual dating) he has consistently shown himself to be a gentleman with the girls his age.  Here he went back, got his shoes wet, and helped his friend from Bible Study across when she got nervous about balancing over the creek. 

I know I recently posted about how he has a friend from kindergarten – well, he’s known the girl in this picture and her sister since he was three, and we did a couple of hikes with her family this summer.

 

FOUR:

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J is playful and competitive.  These four kids are the four who went to the Karate National Championship competition together back in July, and they love to play together – and most of their play includes some sort of competition.  But we are blessed that J is generally a well-rounded competitor. 

He does not like to lose, but he is gracious when it does happen.  And he’s learned in the last year or so not to be so discouraged by a loss that he gives up.  In fact, we saw it at the National Championship tournament – he did not place in the Kata competition on Friday and was very disappointed in that, but he held it together

 

FIVE

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J will tell you that he doesn’t want to “hike” but once you get him out there he does pretty well and enjoys himself.  What he really likes are extreme sports like ice climbing, snow boarding fast, rock climbing, mountain biking and things that generally give him an adrenalin rush.  So when I take him hiking he does things like scale the cliff along the trail (see above). 

Categories: Family Fun, Five on Fridays, Hiking, Hyalite, J, Karate, kids, Montana, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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