September 21st, 2013
Itís the middle of the night when I have profound thoughts about everything thatís wrong with the world and my life.
Itís the time I have thoughts about existence and what life will be like thousands of years from now.
Itís the time when I feel my pain from failed relationships. Itís when I finally give up the day.
I stir and hear the not so distant sound of the train whistle and wonder who the train calls out to? I hear the neighbor downstairs snoring; the cat sleeping against my legs, so weighted I can hardly move them.
Restless, my mind keeps working even in the middle of the night.
August 26th, 2013
The Archie Bray Foundation is a public, nonprofit, educational institution founded in 1951 by brickmaker Archie Bray, who intended it to be "a place to make available for all who are seriously and sincerely interested in any of the branches of the ceramic arts.
Now I have visited this site often as it is a wonderful place to take photos and many of the students works are scattered about the grounds. Many I've seen numerous times and often there are new ones in the most unexpected places. Most of these discarded works have no artist name attached and many have been in the brush for years.
This weekend I paid a visit and came across this most interesting sculpture. This fellow at a distance gave me a start because I thought he was real and holding a gun. Turned out he is pretty life size and is sitting in a wagon. The wagon and he are both ceramic. The hat was a real interesting touch.
Sometimes you find Art in the most unusual places!
August 9th, 2013
August 9, 1913
On this day in history:
New Yorkís ĎThe Suní newspaper was 2 cents per copy, the Washington Herald was 1 cent, and here in Montana, the ĎMissoulianí was 5 cents.
Pall Mall cigarettes sold for 18 cents a pack
An electric fan was $7.00
Womenís hankerchiefs 6 for .25
You could by a brand new ĎRambler Cross Country for $1,650.00. The Rambler came with a Bosch duplex ignition, fine large black and nickel headlights and even a gas tank! Oil lamps, tool box, tool roll with complete tool outfit. For an extra $50.00 you could add a wind shield.
July 31st, 2013
Nature vs. Man
the Demise, Destruction and Vandalism of Montana Ghost Towns
Montana is rich in mining history and offers several opportunities to see camps and towns where that lifestyle once flourished. Some towns only have a few buildings or foundations remaining with remnants of daily life strewn about the areas. Others have met with destruction and vandalism of the worse kind.
Thieves have emptied them of their antiquities, hardware and fixtures, stripping them down so far as to even taking the structure itself. If it could be carried or hauled away it has been taken. Sometimes even the layers of wallpapers are gone or now have graffiti on the walls. Windows are no longer intact, long ago shattered; doors no longer on their hinges. What man has not taken, Nature has.
Years of weather have been as destructive as man has been. High temperatures in summer, freezing rains, snow, floods, and fire have taken their toll. Sun-bleached weathered wood, the grain deeply textured over time, water stains and ceiling deterioration due to rain and snow, and floors warped and caving in are seen in every building.
Architecture wasnít a priority in many of these mining towns. Many of the buildings were built quickly to provide shelter and nothing more. Some that were built with rock foundations fared better and often are all that remains. Fire wasnít unusual whether man caused or nature caused. Most of these ghost towns were high in the mountain ravines so were often subjected to forest fires, or flash floods.
Three towns in particular remain standing yet today with the help of the state in preserving these historic towns. Virginia City/Nevada City, Garnet, and Bannack are great examples of life in the late 1800ís. Virginia City is close in proximity to Nevada City and is the most authentic, containing objects used in daily life from the era. Wagons, blacksmithing, clothing, mercantile with food containers, pharmacy goods, and much more. Garnet and Bannack both have several building in tack with a few heavy items still surviving such as cook stoves, bedsteads, and heating wood stoves. Walls with patterned wallpapers or newsprint coverings can be seen in all and are a joy to see the period patterns. Often a room in a boarding house will have an iron bedstead, an armoire, and other items from the period.
These 3 towns all have residents that live in the town and help keep vandals from stealing or being destructive. Most others donít have the luxury of a watchful eye. One such town in Southwestern Montana is Coolidge. This town has been vandalized and most of the buildings have collapsed. The same holds true for Southern Cross, a small settlement outside of Anaconda. The windows in the remaining buildings have had to be boarded up to preserve what is left on the inside.
The history of these places is a testament to the pioneers of the time and worth saving. Bannack , which recently suffered a flash flood and the loss of its historic Assay office, is being cleaned up and repaired by volunteers and workers. Itís unfortunate that we cannot protect and preserve all the mining towns and their history.
July 30th, 2013
Originality - (by Fran Riley, 2010)
The tunes playing are oldies but done by artists that are not the original musicians. Is that what writing is, regurgitating what others have done? Where does our imagination take over and create something original? Could I ever hope to write something in a way that hasnít been done in the same way, in the same voice?
Rain continues to fall. Are the rain drops original? Have they not been in a recycling pattern since the first rain drop fell? Is there even a drop of new, original water?
If I sit here for hours will I think an original thought? What if I sit here for a day, in the same spot? Will I find a new way to think? What about a week, a month, a lifetime?
Originality; does it exist in anything? Can it be right that no person has a finger print like another? Of all the billions of people, no two are alike? They are physically alike (human) in every other way except DNA? So are DNA and finger prints the only original things in the universe? (Snowflakes donít count since they are formed from water.) If snow is original, then three things are original.
Could a life be lived originally? How? Like this perhaps:
1. Do the unexpected, by yourself and with others
2. Expose yourself to the unusual or live outside your comfort levels/activities
Is it possible to have original thinking? How?
Can a mind be trained for such a thing after a lifetime of structure?
How do you know if youíre successful at having an original thought or creating an original written piece?
If I change my perceptions of all that I know to be truths in my mind, could I change my brainís way of processing the information it receives? Could that create new imagery that would spark original thought and imagination?
How, tell me how.
July 26th, 2013
The same mountain shared another of its secrets with me at a different time. I was alone again doing some pre-scouting for the hunting season. The hike began at dawn with the morning drenched in a heavy fog. I had looked the area over from the road several times so I knew approximately where I wanted to go. Knowing the fog would burn off as the sun grew higher, I started off.
After three hours, and several hidden mountain benches later, the fog began its decent down the mountain, opening up a lush, damp forest. The walking was quiet and I could easily go unnoticed. As I moved onward I found I was only halfway up the mountain at noon. I would have to turn back soon to get home by dark so no one would worry. Pausing to catch my breath and absorb some of the forest beauty I heard the crashing of brush from the other side of the nearby ridge.
I couldnít be sure how far away it was. It was getting louder though. I could hear branches breaking. Something large was definitely running through the woods and it was coming right at me. Was it a bear I wondered? Curious, but not wanting to be caught in a vulnerable situation, I moved to a position between a few trees and took the safety off my rifle just in case.
I waited not sure if I would even be able to see ďitĒ, as I was in an area providing limited viewing. Then the noise stopped. Suddenly a cow elk emerged over the ridge to stand twenty feet in front of me. She was magnificent! Her body wet with dew and her breath in the cool air steaming from her nostrils. Her eyes were huge and her body heaved while she rested, catching her breath. She scanned the area, knowing there was an air of something different.
She couldnít pick me out from the surroundings as we both stood still, waiting. I felt as if I was cheating her senses and thought it fair that I should reveal myself to her. I murmured a sound and moved ever so slightly. I had hoped she wouldnít leave suddenly, but instinct told her to not linger. We gazed at each other and she bowed her head, each of us knowing that it could have been a poor situation to be in under different circumstances. She ambled on up the mountain and as if to tell me to go home she bawled, a sound similar to the domestic cow ďmoo.Ē I left after that leaving the mountain to her.
Did I mention the berry picking? .....Continued tomorrow
July 24th, 2013
Continued from yesterdays blog...
My first garden in Montana, actually the first gardening I had ever done, produced the largest potatoes I had ever seen. White potatoes, solid to the center, and nearly the size of a football! Everything grew despite my inexperience. I had a very bountiful harvest that year. Iím not sure if everyone feels like I do about gardening but I think anyone could experience a oneness with nature if they would give gardening a try.
For me, I thought of it as my therapy, something a doctor might prescribe for soul cleansing. Those were the days when I would be preparing the garden spot while the sun was warming the landscape. Getting the soil turned over is one of my favorite things to see. It looks so fresh and new when itís first turned. Then, the new sprouts emerge with the dawn to start a journey of days upon days of summer.
When I sat amongst the seedlings, pulling weeds, I felt at one with the earth, and would ponder the generations that have gone before. I thought of my life and family as a handful of soil filtered between my fingers. They were stolen moments, the kind that make it easy to be content; easy to indulge your sensations and forget the busyness of the day. In the end you are rewarded with a harvest of garden delights and a purity of life.
Hunting was a new experience for me..... to be continued tomorrow!
Montana Memories - Part 1 published yesterday on my blog.
July 24th, 2013
The secret has been out for quite a while now. The rest of the world knows about the Flathead Valley, as is evidenced by the growth there. Montana holds my memories and probably those of many others. I have left my heart there in the mountains and the Valley we called home. Montanaís Flathead Valley will always be the best part of my life.
I grew up in the city, but life didnít begin for me until I became a 'country' gal. One of the first things I learned about the country was that people were so friendly. You donít notice that so much in the city amongst the hustle. Youíre too busy playing a game of survival. Trying not to get mugged or become a statistic.
So, here I was driving down a country road, which is nearly all the roads in and out of town, when people I didnít even know would wave at me - like I was their next door neighbor. Iíd say to a passenger in the car with me, ďwho was that?Ē and theyíd say they didnít know.
This happened everyday of every trip down the road! Needless to say I was amazed. It became infectious. Soon I was waving before they could wave at me. I had never known that kind of openness and I was liking it! It warmed my soul. That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with what I consider to be one of the greatest places on earth, Montana.
Montana taught me an appreciation for nature. I gardened, fished, hunted, (for the food it provided, untainted with hormones, etc.) rafted, and cross country skied. I found pleasure in the simple things like a picnic in the woods beside a stream during winter and summer. So many memories Iíd like to share with you but it would be impossible to fit everyday of the 10 years Iíve spent in Montana into these pages.
A couple of memories I'll share and hope you can enjoy and share in a few of my memories in Part II, tomorrow!
July 8th, 2013
I've had a story brewing for several years now and have been inspired to get back to it. I had started research a few years back, mostly because I didn't want to sound to dumb about what my subject is, but since it's a work of fiction I might not come across sounding too dumb, lol.
I'm amazed at how the story seems to flow out so easily, but there are points at which I'm not sure of the direction. Being new to this sort of thing leaves me with a ton of questions like how long should the story be, how long should a chapter be, what do others find intriguing and will my story appeal? And a million other questions I won't bore you with.
So I will keep on and hope that I can get the story out, get it published - which is an entirely different subject. I will be e-publishing/self publishing it so we'll have to see...one thing at a time.
It's hard to have so many things you like to do as it takes time away from the others when you're in the flow of one.
June 25th, 2013
From Virtual Photography. I thought these questions had a lot of meaning and will quite possibly move me forward to a big change in my life. Check them out! Here's the first five:
1. How old would you be if you didnít know how old you are?
2. What are you doing at your age and is it different from what you could be doing?
3. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
4. What would you try if you didnít have to explain it to family and friends?
5. Whatís the best part of your day?