Monday, February 8, 2016

BB-8 on February 8!

Today is my 51st birthday. I've never been one to be bothered by my age. I know it bugs some people to get older, but I've never cared one way or another. I've always been comfortable getting older. I certainly don't want to go back and be younger—not in today's world, that is. Anyway, I had a really nice birthday. I just spent it at home with my family (minus Nicole, who lives in Billings) and we did the cake and present thing after dinner. It was nice. I got a lot of cool things too, including this awesome BB-8 cake above—I'm a total Star Wars nerd!

Here's a photo of all the goodies I received. Rick got me a Kindle Paper White, which is currently charging. I'm looking forward to giving that a try soon. I also got lots of football stuff, which might keep me busy now that the season has ended. I'm always asking Rick questions he can't answer, so now I have a Football for Dummies book. Maybe I can answer a few questions for him next season. The puzzle is awesome too because it's all of classic book covers, many of which we have. Nichelle gave me The Force Awakens mug. It's holds both hot and cold drinks. Awesome! And the Rebel Alliance earrings—did I mention I'm a Star Wars nerd?

Rick brought me home some roses too. I need to put them in another spot before I go to bed. Denny loves them, and I'm sure he'll be up on the table trying to rub his face on them. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Just one look ...

I'm sitting here listening to my Very Best of Linda Ronstadt album via iTunes. I don't know how I stumbled across Linda tonight while on my computer, but I did. I saw a recent photograph of her and was shocked at how different she looked. I guess most of that was weight-related, which I totally understand. After all, the woman is sixty-nine. What I did NOT know is that she is suffering from Parkinson's Disease. As much as I've always loved her songs, I never really followed her closely, so I had no idea she was sick. I found this article—click here—on her condition, although it's from 2014. My father-in-law suffered from Parkinson's. Just like Linda says in this article, it takes a long time to die from the disease, and most die from something else first, just as my father-in-law did with his cancer. But anyway ... I wish Linda well.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Books

As per my casual New Year's Resolution, these are the two books I've chosen to read during the month of February. I've started Rebel Queen already, but I haven't gotten far with it yet. I bought The Nazi Officer's Wife sometime last year at a bookstore in Billings. It sounds really interesting. I ended up reading about four books during January, even though I set my goal at just two. I figured any more would be pushing it. Two is doable ... at least for me.

Unfortunately, I didn't read much this past week. I've been sick with some sort of cold or sinus crud. Lying in bed at night with my head propped up hasn't fit in very well. One night I was hit with a migraine-type headache that was so bad I couldn't even get myself up to take anything for it. I hadn't had a headache like that in a long, long time. Because of being sick, I found myself online more, which was the main reason I decided to read more books. Frankly, social media sucks during election years. I've watched family members fight, and seen people leave ultimatums regarding who can be their friends by who they vote for. It gets ugly. Some of my writer friends on Facebook are only interested in pushing their candidate. That gets old fast.

If being sick wasn't bad enough, I slipped on the driveway yesterday and fell right on my back. I knocked my head pretty hard, but at least it hit lots of snow. Considering how close I came to the bumper of the van, I think I was pretty lucky. I woke up sore this morning. Rick and I were going to run up to the store, so I just slipped some UGGs on, thinking we'd take the Jeep in the garage. Rick had the Subaru running when I came out, so I walked carefully down the driveway, even though I knew better in those stupid boots. One second I was upright, and another second I was completely down. Ugh ... literally. That's why UGG boots were originally designed by a surfer and meant to be worn at the beach. I knew better too. It was just a mix-up on which car we were taking. But anyway ... I'm paying for it today.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Montana Women Homesteaders

In Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One's Own, author and historian Sarah Carter introduces the voices and images of women who filed on 160 or 320 acre homestead plots in Montana. Single, widowed, divorced, or deserted women varied in ages, educational levels, and ethnic backgrounds, but all proved up on their homesteads. In published accounts, scrapbooks, personal reminiscences, and photographs, the women recorded their remarkable journeys.

I finished this book last night after having it on my nightstand for about a year. Talk about some fascinating women. I'm not sure if I would have had the guts to do what these women did back in the early 1900s. I would think waking up to find my cabin 30-50 degrees below zero might be a bit much for me. Then again, who knows. Some of these ladies had homesteads that didn't even have a water source, so they either had to fetch water themselves or hire people to bring it into them. What's fascinating to me is that I see these actual homestead cabins all over Montana. We have quite a few locally, and I'd love to hear the stories each one could tell. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Squirrel Appreciation Day

Where would I be without my beloved squirrels? I know many people despise them, but I love watching them. Denny does too, for that matter. Montana is home to about nine or ten different types of squirrels. The ones I see around my house are the Red Squirrels. The one pictured on my blog heading is a Columbian Ground Squirrel. I took that picture up in Glacier National Park, but we do have them in our neighborhood. I just don't see them in my yard. I've also seen Northern Flying Squirrels at the house, but only at night. They are weird looking critters with their big, buggy eyes. A group of squirrels is called a scurry or a dray, although dray often refers to a squirrel nest. I have squirrels featured in one of my picture books, illustrated by Ginger NielsonRhino Crashes & Critter Classes. Click on the link if you're interested in learning more about my books. Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tramp for the Lord

My goal to read at least two books per month has doubled. I suppose that's a good thing. I've read four now, including this one by Corrie Ten Boom. I read her first book, The Hiding Place about a year ago. I hadn't realized she had written other books to go with it. I came across this hardcover of Tramp for the Lord at a local thrift store not too long ago. I think I paid about a quarter for it. You certainly can't beat that price.

Anyway, it was an interesting book describing all her worldwide travels. The Hiding Place was published in 1971. Tramp for the Lord came out in 1974. This book basically covers her life as she traveled around the world preaching the Gospel. This woman went everywhere, including back to Germany where she had previously been a prisoner in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. I don't know if I could have done that. What an exceptionally brave woman she was.

Corrie Ten Boom was born on April 15, 1892. She died on her birthday in 1983. That's the same year I graduated high school ... I really wish I had read her books back then.