Two weekends ago we went to Red Lodge MT for a triathlon called “Peaks to Prairie.”  This was our second year in a row of attending this event, but the first year we had a paddler to make it a tri instead of a duo.  IMG_4588sm

Andy and Daniel were joined this year by Bill, a paddler. 

Andy took the electronic anklet for a 9 mile run from up the Bear Tooth Highway through the town of Red Lodge, and I had a setting not right on my camera, only getting blurry photos of him – stupid mistake on my part, and I should have know better.  IMG_4459sm


After Andy handed off the electronic anklet, Daniel took it for a 50 mile bike ride from Red Lodge to Columbus on the Yellowstone River.IMG_4471sm


Bill took over care of the anklet and paddled with it 10 miles down the Yellowstone River to the Special K ranch and the finish line.IMG_4491sm




Getting everyone to the spot they needed to be in was a chore, and the timing was tough.  Andy runs the 9 in just over an hour, and during that time I was shuttling necessary items  and information to Bill, who was 50 miles away waiting for Daniel.  Daniel was in Red Lodge, spinning to warm up.  Daniel’s wife was up the road with her three little children trying to get the camper packed up and down to where Daniel would complete his ride before they missed his arrival.

Fearing that I would not make it back to the run/bike transition spot in time to see Andy come in and Daniel go out, and wanting them to have a fan (or two), I left J in Red Lodge . . .IMG_4454sm




He usually hates to be alone – at home, at the office, anywhere.  But he was there in a town he barely knows all alone, and he did well.  It was the first in a series of things the past couple of weeks that have built up his confidence. 

It seems like the life of a thirteen year old is full of opportunities for maturing and growth, and I’ll have more to say about that in the next few posts. 

Categories: Andy, Family Fun, J, Photography, Running, Spring, Travel | 2 Comments



On Saturday we woke to a spring day where the temps were predicted to be in the mid to high 50’s.  Okay, if you live in AZ, this is pretty cold to you, but for us Montanans in March, this sound like shorts and tee-shirt weather.


Heck, I was willing to go running in just a single layer of sweats instead of long johns under them. 


J did wear shorts for his bike ride.  All seems so beautiful and bright and warm!


There was even some green to be detected upon the landscape!


It was all very exciting, even for Tank, who parked himself near that green grass to relax and enjoy his big stick.

IMG_3792 sm

As a family we headed over to our favorite exercise area, Andy ran 8 miles, I ran 4, and J biked with me.  A family out enjoying the spring.


You  know what’s coming here, don’t you . . .


This was the look on Sunday morning.


Still spring, just not the kind we had enjoyed on Saturday.  FYI, it snowed again last night, and was in the low teens this morning when I took J to school.  Might be up to 20 now.

Categories: Barns, Daily life, Family Fun, J, Outdoors, Photography, Running, Spring, Tank, Winter | 5 Comments


Did you know if you run a mile, hop on your bike and bike hard for 6 miles (hard miles, like uphill grade as fast as you can) and then get off to run again, during that second run you’ll feel like a bobble head doll?

I found that out today, and thought I would share my new experience with you.

Categories: Daily life, Outdoors, Photography, Running | 5 Comments



– one –

I’ve been working on some portrait photos the past few weeks and all of these photos are some of my effort.  I really like this kind of work and hope to do more and more of it, but it is a challenge – in a good way, but still a challenge.  So many details to get right consistently.

Some of them are several months old, it is just taking me a while to share them.

I am realizing that I’m doing a lot of head hots – need to add some other variety into my collection.

Also, notice that none of these folks are from my household.  I think my two guys have tired of being my practice subjects.  So I’m moving on, although I hope to get a good session with J after he gets a hair cut next week – we’ll see if he’s willing or if I can find the right bribe.

– two –

My running has taken a turn for the worst – I have something going on with my lower right leg and cannot seem to run more than a mile or two before it hurts so bad I have to stop.  This is not good – and certainly not consistent with training for a 1/2 marathon in 4 weeks.  So, I’m having to take that event off my calendar and focus on getting my leg healthy before I plan anything else.  But I’m not giving up on running.  Just have to figure out what is needed to get this issue resolved.

– three –

Summer is too entirely quick to approach its end.  We have too many things we didn’t do yet.  Fun things like camping and fishing and swimming and hiking.  So I’m putting in my order for an extra two months of summer this year – like a repeat of July and August only hopefully with some rain and cooler temps.  So far, no reply from the powers that be on that, so don’t get your hopes up.

– four –

I think I’m in need of a little attitude adjustment today – away from the negative.  It is one of those days where it is a real effort to find something positive to think about.  But really, there is no big crisis or problem hanging over my head, so no excuse for this.  Time to get my thoughts focused on what is good and right and honoring to God.

– five –

Hoping for a weekend of fun with our boy, who is still exhausted from his traveling.  Lots to do around the house, but we really want to take some time to relax and enjoy each other too.  Maybe some time down at the river and a hike or two.  Gotta use this time wisely because school is fast approaching!

Categories: Daily life, Family Fun, Five on Fridays, Photography, Running | 2 Comments


I am without my gratitude journal at the moment, but I want to post so much gratitude, so I’ll shoot from the hip and list the things I can think of, and do a more official “list” next week.

1117.  Safe travels;

1118.  New people to meet

1119.  S’mors on oatmeal cookies in the back yard with lots of friends, made over our new fire pit

1120.  Clean house;

1121.  Re-appreciation for the particular personalities in my household after being away from them for a bit and seeing the dynamics of other families – oh how I love our little three person dynamics, foibles and all;

1122.  Motivation for some hard tasks;

1123.  little tiny tomato on the vine giving hope for the gardener;

1124.  Unexpected day at home with J and in the garden;

1125.  Hiking with J – Peak a Week number one!

1126.  Wild flowers;

1127.  Running more than once or twice in a week and even when traveling;

1128.  Little boys who are trilled by old Tonka trucks;

1129.  J’s interest in missions to the Amazon;

1130.  New work for J and his friends;

1131.  Warm summer evenings;

1132.  Being invited to dinner;

1133.  Mango for breakfast;

1134.  Progress in the yard;

1135.  Hard work by J;

1136.  Surprise gift from Elizabeth in the mail;

1137.  Being tired from all the good things in life.

1138.  20 people for a bbq

1139.  Photo shoot gone well

1140.  Living where it is green and lush – at least for now

1141.  Bird song from the surrounding fields

1142.  words of wisdom from radio preachers


Categories: Daily life, gratitude, Photography, Running, Thankful to God | 3 Comments


I believe they will survive and produce blossoms, but on Saturday and Sunday it was hard to feel encouraged about that!

On to other weekend news:  the weather that did this to my lilacs is also the weather that I ran my first 1/2 marathon in on Saturday.  Let me give you a few more details:  34 degrees was the high as far as I cold tell.  The winds were out of the East at about  30 mph.  We ran almost due East, so that means the wind was against us the ENTIRE way at a good clip.  There were snow flurries about 75% of the time.

Basically the weather conditions were terrible.

Apparently J told Andy as they were driving over to see me finish:  “Poor Momma, this will be the end of her running career.”  He he he!  The weather really was bad!

But I finished the 13.1 miles in 15 minutes less than I anticipated.  I think I was close to last, but really, there weren’t that many people running – only diehards and me to prove a point.  The others were all much more experienced than me.  And I really did expect to be the last one across the finish line.

I need to give a big shout out to my friends Roberta, the Hawley family and the Wendell family because they all came and cheered me on – some of them even running with me for a few minutes at a time.  It was wonderful to have all of them, and I appreciate them so much for that.

Andy took photos – got some good ones we thought, but it turned out – no card in the camera.  The Hawley’s have some photos (Donna ran the race too, finishing about 20 minutes ahead of me).

Now I have an ugly grey shirt with a picture of a really old guy running on it to show for my efforts.  And a sense of accomplishment.

But my comment about the whole thing would be:  I like my training runs much better.  I may or may not have already searched to see what upcoming Montana races look to be reasonable for me to train for.  I think I might need a race that is on a decent weather day.

And, two days of rest later and I really can’t feel any sore muscles or joints at all – completely recovered, and if I can avoid a thunder-storm this evening, I might go for a bike ride to get this old body moving again – might.

There is more from the weekend, but time to close this post out and get back to work!

Categories: Daily life, J, Outdoors, Photography, Running | 3 Comments

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