I was told there were some neat cows to photograph up in Bridger Canyon, on the way to the ski hill.  I went looking yesterday afternoon and found Miniature Scottish HighlandersIMG_3569sm

They are kind of cute, don’t you think.


It looks like a black angus got in with the mini herd – shhh!  Don’t tell him he’s not quite like the others! I’m pretty sure #10 thinks he just like #14, and it might crush his spirit to find out that he’s completely different – so much bigger!


A storm blew in as I was photographing these guys – but I must note, I stayed a bit into the storm because these are the first cows who actually started to walk towards me when I pulled out my camara. 

IMG_3581smI will be heading back out to visit these guys more – they are a lot of fun!

Categories: cows, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, This and That Thursdays, Uncategorized, Winter | 4 Comments














Categories: Daily life, J, Outdoors, Photography, Uncategorized, Winter | 5 Comments



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Got this from Ursula’s blog and as someone who always wants to be known, it appealed to me.  Some of you might learn a little about me – or not.
1. What Do You Do For A Living?
I don’t draw a salary, but daily I go to my husband’s law office and work as his receptionist, book-keeper, secretary.  All that I do contributes to his ability to provide for our family through his work.

2. Who Do You Love?

Jesus, Andy, J, lots of extended family, and all the families in my small group Bible study.  Lots of others too, I think I just love folks in general.

3. Do You Have Enough Money?

Well, we still have a roof over our head, we aren’t missing meals, and the bills eventually get paid.    So, yes, we have enough.

4. Are You Healthy?

Yes.  I am healthy to my knowledge.

5. Do You Think You Are a Good Person?

Not if measured by God’s perfect standard, but because of the sacrifice of Jesus, I am treated as if I am a good person.

6. How Old Are You?

48, but I often forget and think I’m significantly younger than that based on the things I think I want to do.

7. Who’s Your Best Friend?

My husband, Andy.

8. What’s Your Childhood Dream?

I struggle with this dream thing.  Lots of goals, I’ve always been that way, but “dream” implies something that rises above other things and has a certain romantic connotation.  I guess if I had a dream it was to have babies.  I did that once, which was a miracle of modern medicine to overcome significant infertility issues, so I should count it as dream come true.

9. How Often Do You Laugh?

Belly laugh, not enough.  Giggle or sarcastic/ironic laugh, probably multiple times most days.

10. What Makes You Smile?

Seeing J after not seeing him all day or for a couple of days if he is at camp or something.  It just always makes me smile to think about him when I’ve been away from him for a while.

11. Who’s Your Most Dangerous Enemy?

Satan and myself.  Satan for his desire to take me away from God, myself for me weaknesses in giving into Satan’s temptations sometimes.

12. Where Do You Live?


South West Montana, close to the mountains, just north of Yellowstone National Park’s western boundary, on a piece of grassland that is less than a mile from the mountains.

13. Do You Think You’re Strong?

Yeah, emotionally I pretty much muddle through and keep on going in the face of adversity – usually with a certain calm until the crisis is over, then I cry.  So I’m strong in that way.  And I can pick-up, pull, push, or otherwise move things most people don’t expect me to be able to move, so strong in that way too.

14. What Was The Most Important Thing You’ve Done So Far?

Trust Jesus.

15. What Was The Most Stupid Thing You’ve Done So Far?

Probably more things than even I realize.  Whatever it is, I’m sure it has a lot to do with being prideful – I tend to be that.

16. Do You Love Yourself?

Yes, I’m a child of God, made in His image and therefore worthy of being loved.

17. What Do You Fear The Most?

Stupid things.  Often I think it comes down to losing control – I might be a bit of a control freak at times.

18. What Is Your Favorite Word?

Proactive.  It was my first ever “One Little Word” and it really stuck with me and had an impact on my life.

19. When Was The Last Time You Cried?

Downton Abbey last Sunday.

20. What Is The Best Thing That Could Happen To You Right Now?

J suddenly getting organized and learning to like academics and apply himself.  Not likely to happen over night, but something we as a family are working to bring about over the next few years.  Hard work for sure.

21. What Is The Worst Thing That Could Happen To You Right Now?

Getting cancer and depleting my family’s resources while going on to die anyway.  Or my husband or son dying.

22. Picture Yourself In 5 Years From Now

Fit, active, mom of an 18-year-old, still involved with the same small group Bible Study, still married to the love of my life, a better photographer (possibly even getting paid to photograph people).  Bible Study group pictured below:
IMG_9900playsmWouldn’t you want to be with all these folks in 5 years too?  Side note:  Not all folks in this photo are in the group, but they are close to us.  Also, since this photo was taken, three new families joined the group – great excitement!

23. Do You Regret Anything?

More that I would ever reveal here.  Fortunately it is all forgiven.

24. What’s The First Thing You Do In The Morning?

Put on my body bugg.

25. What Are You Thinking Just Before Going To Bed?

Depends on the day.

26. What Was The Highest Point You’ve Ever Been To?

Over 11,000 feet on a pass in the Sierra’s having backpacked out of Tuolumne  Meadows in Yosemite and headed up.

27. If There’s One Thing In Your Life You Want To Change Right Now, What Is It?

  My weight, which I’m in the process of doing successfully – it just take time to reach the ultimate goal.

28. What Are You Proud Of?

Too many things for my own good, I’m sure.

29. Sum Up Your Life In One Sentence

Imperfection trying to glorify God in all I do, knowing that I need the grace Jesus provided.

30. Name The Thing That Annoys You The Most

J’s old school and how they have hurt so many children with their rigid ways.  It is so sad.  Hasn’t always been that way and I don’t really understand how so many wonderful individuals can come together to do good and mess it up so very much as a group.  The stories I’ve heard of events since we left make it so clear we really did the best thing and were ahead of what may become a wave of departures due to the inability of the school to meet the needs of the students.  But it is so sad because it is so unnecessary and doesn’t accomplish the stated goals of the school.

31. What Is Your No 1 Question To God?

I don’t really have anything terribly pressing that I want to ask – I’m at peace with Him being in charge and knowing what is best, so I assume all that happens is for a purpose, even if I don’t like or understand it.  I don’t feel compelled to ask any particular questions.

32. Do You Have Secrets?

Sure, don’t you.

33. What Makes You Laugh?

J’s unsuccessful attempt to startle or scare me by hiding behind things around the house.  He never gets me, and when I was his age I was queen of this activity, scaring all of my friends.

34. Are You Happy?

Better question is am I content.  Answer to that is yes.  And I am happy much of the time.
Categories: Daily life, Photography, Uncategorized | Leave a comment



I went on a field trip with J’s class two weeks ago today.  That’s where these photos are from. 

It was a P.E. field trip to Lone Mountain Cross Country Ski area where the students cross country skiied and snow shoed all day.  They had a blast, and so did I.  This was despite the fact that it was a high of about 5 degrees that day – but the sun was out and the skies were beautiful, which is more than I can say for the warmer gray days of this week.


J loves to cross country ski and snow shoe.  He loves any winter sport.  Right now he is really interested in learning to ice climb.  We live just minutes away from a world renowned ice climbing area, so I guess it isn’t outrageous to think that he could follow his dream and learn this sport.


That is, until you see the cost of the equipment.  Wow!  I don’t think anything besides the harnesses and helmets are less than $200 an item.  It was a bit of sticker shock when we went into the ice climbing equipment area of RE I two nights ago.  Fortunately you can rent ice climbing gear.  I think we’ll be going that route for awhile. 


The other winter sport J expressed an interest in recently was learning to bobsled.  Yeah, right.  He had it all worked out – we can go down to Salt Lake City (7 hours each way) and use the Olympic track that was built there over a decade ago.  It is open to the public for thrill rides.  Maybe we’ll do that some day, but probably not in the next week or so for J’s birthday.


I’m not sure that was the answer J was looking for on the bobsledding.  Oh well, these coming teen years are going to be full of great dreams and the reality of implementing them in a practical way.

I try not to be too pessimistic about what these teen years will be like.  After all, J has good basic character even if he is a bit disorganized.  He’s kind and loving.  He’s funny, engaged in the world, good at talking with adults, and with the exception of school work, pretty darn self motivated.  People enjoy him, including me. 

Yes, he does push the limits a bit with attitude and a tiny bit of mouthiness, but he still responds well to correction in that area.  I don’t want to be a Pollyanna about it, but I think we can do this.  It won’t be easy, I know, but since when has anything in life been easy?

I’m linking up with This and That Thursdays for the last time and with Thursday Favorite Things.

Categories: Daily life, J, kids, Outdoors, Photography, This and That Thursdays, Uncategorized, Winter | 5 Comments



The past couple days break in blogging is brought to you by – an all day field trip, a day at home with the boy for his one day semester break, and a busy weekend. 

Today I’m up with a photo from the archives since J and I are home for the day – he’s sick and doesn’t want to be left alone.  I can accommodate that.  Without my office computer and all its photos and photo editing software, I went back a year or so and am reposting a photo.  It pretty much reflects what things look like at the bird house today, so I hope you don’t mind a repeat.

Even with a sick boy, there is much to be grateful for, so the list continues:

1651.  A day cross-country skiing with J and his classmates (beautiful cold but sunny day).

1652.  15 pounds of weight lost since November 30th (that’s less than two months, and I’m so excited!

1653.  Friendships where we can be transparent

1654 travel plans for June (after school gets out)

1655.  Getting back to running

1656.  Progress on large craft project

1657.  Reconnecting with a friend after a couple of months

1658.    Not having to take Tank to work with us every day – he stays in the house so if he barks it doesn’t bother the neighbors

1659.  J’s more cheerful outlook

1660.  J’s efforts to finish out the last semester as best he could.

Short list this week because I didn’t do a good job of tracking last week.  Hope to be back to “normal” blogging tomorrow because I hope my boy is feeling better and back at school.



Categories: Uncategorized | 7 Comments


I want to work on my black and white conversions.  I’ve got several ways to approach that in my quiver, but I’m not very confident in that.

I also want to have a regular Tuesday feature so I can blog quickly.

Putting those two ideas together, I’m going to try to post a photo and it’s black and white conversion on Tuesdays.  We’ll see how it goes.

So, here is a photo I took through the window of a downtown business in December:


I was looking for some Christmasy shots at the time, but really, this reminds me more of an Asian spring theme.

Here it is in one conversion:IMG_9511bwsm

And another (not much difference I think although it is a little darker):


And here is something I got by mistake, but liked enough to post.


Categories: Black and White Conversions, Light, Photography, Uncategorized, Winter | 5 Comments


Just photos today – I’m crammed for time.

– one –

y IMG_9924sm

– two –


– three –


– four –


– five –


Categories: Five on Fridays, Outdoors, Photography, Uncategorized, Winter | 3 Comments


Andy went to court in Helena yesterday and took Tank with him for the ride there and back.  Last time they did this they hit a deer and did a good $2000 worth of damage to the car and we were without the car for 10 days. 

This time they did not hit a deer. 

On their way back to the Gallatin Valley Andy stopped at a fishing access along the Missouri River to let Tank get out, stretch his legs and do his business. 

Although this is not the Missouri River (it’s the Gallatin), it demonstrates what the rivers around here are looking like these days with ice cover and open areas:


While Tank was tooling around Andy was reading a sign at the boat ramp.  (Tank is good at coming when called, and in an area like this is not required to be on a leash). Next thing Andy knows, he looks up and there is Tank, with two front paws and his chin on the edge of the ice shelf, rest of the body in the river.  Panic expressed on his face (as much as dogs can express panic).  Clearly, Tank was in trouble!

Two things to set the context emotional here – first, we have two friends who have lost their dogs to being washed under the ice on local rivers in the past five years or so.  It is not an uncommon experience here and really a tragedy!  Second, in the last couple of months there have been at least two news stories of people who died trying to rescue their animals in bodies of water, and that is what crossed Andy’s mind as he tried to figure out the best way to save Tank.

Andy contemplated heading out on the ice shelf to get Tank (crawling on his belly was his plan) because it didn’t appear that Tank had fallen through, just fallen off the edge.  But remembering the folks to perished trying to save their dogs he was concerned this might not be the best plan.

He looked down river, and there was an open spot in the water near the shore, and he thought maybe he could head down there and call to Tank.  Being that Tank is a large Lab, Andy thought he would be a strong enough swimmer to let go and navigate himself to the shore if Andy was calling to him and encouraging him in the proper direction.

But that wasn’t real appealing either because if Tank didn’t make it to that spot, who knew what would happen next.

So, Andy decided to see if he could encourage that big ol’ galoot of a dog to just climb back on the ice pack by saying “Com’on Tank!  Com’on Tank!”

After six attempts to pull himself up onto the ice, Tank was finally successful.

You can only imagine Andy’s relief.  He put Tank in the car, blasted the heater (that water is cold) and drove away from there as fast as possible.
When they got back to the office and relayed the story to me it sent chills up my spine.  Poor Tank could have been lost for sure!  I’m so glad he wasn’t!
I’m sharing this post withThis or That Thursdays  and Thursdays Favorite Things Hop – won’t you come join us?
Categories: Andy, Daily life, Outdoors, Photography, River, Tank, Thankful to God, This and That Thursdays, Uncategorized | 12 Comments





















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