You CAN Go Home Again…

Montana, my Love…

Gardening with bff 1.

Her view does not suck.

This is what the pine looks like after it gets killed by beetles.
Beautiful death.

My pack of nieces.

She eats so fast they have to spread her food out.

I LOVE this girl. She is an extra special soul…

THIS girl is one of my favorites! Oi! I love her like my own. I remember vividly my first memory of her: my oldest sister showed me her belly for the first time when she was like three months pregnant. I was 11.

Dancing is not one of her top qualities.

And manners are not one of Natalie’s…

Day in the sun with bff  2, Casey Jane, and Casey. (My nieces man friend is also named Casey.)

We have an extreme fondness for sour cream.

“The spot.” We walk here a lot when we’re at my parent’s house. Their town is so adorable and quiet, it’s therapeutic to walk around.

I was lucky enough to have breakfast with a couple other people on my short list. I have so little time in MT I have to keep it to the really awesome. My bff#1’s mom has such a huge part of my heart. Her daughter has been “my person” since we were in junior high. She has watched me grow up. She is my second mom. I’m thankful to be loved by her.
I have no images of our morning. She had me spellbound…

Lilacs are the one smell that will launch me back to my childhood quicker than any other… They pretty much grow wild in Montana. They lined my grandmother’s block.

Scobey
(my birthplace)

We have 16 nieces and nephews. Two from my husband’s side and 14 from mine. They are not babies anymore, they are people.

Emily and Sarah. Could they be any more country…?
Makes my heart smile. I love this life so much.

My middle sister.
Another person who has a huge chunk of my heart. And a very big part of why I want to get back to Montana permanently. I can’t put into words how amazing she is. I need to physically be around her more.

I went to MT for this guys graduation. WOW, that went fast.

The graduates gave out flowers and chocolates to the important people in their lives. My dad is known for his above average love of chocolate. Hershey is still his favorite.
This picture is so him.

Two pictures from the slideshow they played during graduation:

The first time we really got to hang out. He was five months, I was 22. We bonded during an easter egg hunt.

The one below that is one of my favorites. My sister looks so happy. That baby is her pride and joy, she waited so long for him.

My “old soul” my sister’s next in line, Sarah.

I never get tired of listening to what she has to say. We do a lot of strolling.

These are the direct descendants of  the lilacs from my childhood…

BOB’S GARDEN!
This may be the earliest I’ve ever been there. I love it in all it’s stages.

The bees were in heaven!
There was a low hum all throughout the apple trees. Millions of little beings.  Some things there is no way of capturing on film. For your senses only.

One thing I always get when I’m home is chicken fried steak. Yeeeea baby! Cube steak pounded out, breaded and fried, then smothered with sausage gravy. Either hashbrowns or mashed potatoes on the side.
Some things you love because you realize you can’t get it anywhere but back home.

FYI,  this is half of what it started out as, my mom and I split it and didn’t even come close to finishing.

Thanks for the visit, Loves….

 

 

 

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Peace, Sister…

Happy almost June. I like June. I like the name.
Lots of people I love were born this month.
It is spring…

Our “go to” happy hour spot. 

14 14.

This is all that was left from my birthday bouquet from my sister. It lasted quite a while, I just kept taking the sad stuff out…

Two of the most annoying words in the English language.

MY rhubarb…

My mom is  a great everything.

The tail end, of the end of term party for the Mr.
One more down…

This lady is good people. She is a co-worker of mine who is also going to acupuncture school. She is one of the hardest workers I know.  Whenever I complain about being worn out or tired, I think of her. She works full time, goes to school full time, and has a son and a household to take care of…

Roses from my friend’s garden… I actually get to see this friend today, if you’re  reading this, see you soon…!

I planted the amaryllis my sister gave me like two christmas’ ago, it sends up pretty leaves, but never a blossom, until this year!

Casey Jane: These are the leaves we need to use to make that one fountain… They were HUGE.

Camping trip up north…
Botanical gardens on the way.

Skyler (J’s classmate) offered us a little piece of his parents land to camp on over part of J’s school break. Camping is by far one of my favorite soul refreshing things to do. Its hard to camp around here without running into people… people however, are not my favorite.

Bad ass garden onion…

First day: term nine. Two more!!
(Or three, if you count this one.)

I shall chat with you again soon. I have two more posts waiting to be done…

Happy Tuesday, Loves…

 

Happy 10 To My 10…

Ten years ago I met this guy in St. Louis… My mom thought I was crazy for flying all that way to meet a guy I barely knew. But something told me it wasn’t so crazy.

A lot has changed since this moment. (I can’t believe I ever had fake nails.)
I still look at him the same way.

I’m looking forward to the next ten years… (Provided you don’t decide to go back to school for anything else.)

Love you, Mr.

Four Zero…

Hello, Loves…

I turned 40 since we last chatted.
I gotta say, It feels like 39.

My favorite swear word. So versatile. You can change the emphasis on any syllable to cater to any given situation.

My friends are so talented.

The guts of my pinata… Not the guacamole.

My mom’s birthday is the day before mine. We sent her a little birthday wish…

CAKE!

Off to bowling…

This picture makes me laugh…

This is Kory, the newest addition to our motley crew. He fits in well.

The points from the pinata just happen to turn into princess hats.

Morning after birthday cake is just as good as day of birthday cake. Although this picture was taken on my actual birthday. Day after birthday party, birthday cake…

You can’t read this, but I am officially out of student loan debt. I made my first payment on Christmas day 2007 and 10 years later on my fortieth birthday, I made the final payment.

Birthday lunch…

A lot converging all at once…

Baja tacos with this wildcat… She is no longer my work neighbor, so we now schedule our chats. She is still as good for my soul as ever…

Take control of your own wishes…

Elon got me a gc to Costco. The story of her getting it was my real present. I’ll spare you the details since I can not tell the story the way she did.

Every time I feel bad about myself, I remember the people I get to share my life with, and think, “Well, you wouldn’t get these  people around you if you were a total shit-bag.”

Why yes, that is a shirtless man with a flute strung over his shoulder… The moustache is epecially fitting.
I have a record store near my house, I often stop by the outside bins to take a gander, I’m never disappointed.

Road trip to Tahoe… Five girls and two dogs. That’s a lot of bitches in one car.

This is where our bad food decisions started… It went down hill from there.

Good peeps.

I feel like I should say something profound since I’m now old and wise…

In France it is legal to marry a dead person.

Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.

For most people, no matter how hard you pinch the skin on your elbow with your fingers, it doesn’t hurt. (Including myself. My husband would say that has more to do with my weak fingers.)

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

 

Happy Monday, Loves. Tomorrow is No-Brainer Day. Thank God!

 

That’s What You Get For Being Hasty…

Yes, I’m still alive…

I’m inspired right now, just not with this.

The thought of writing about the last three months feels like a thousand pounds.
It’s painfully time consuming getting the cat dribble in my head to transfer to paper.
Instead, I will write very little.

In seven days I turn 40. I’m really kinda excited…
I’ve come to appreciate my birth-date.  I get a month right after the crazy of the holidays to take a breather, and plan my  “new year”.
I’m full of hope.

My husband wanted to start acupuncture school when he was 40, and he did.

My purple tomatillos were the most beautiful things ever, I will grow them always.

The Mr. and I scored a seat at my friend Ruth’s Thanksgiving table.
I relinquished control, it was a rare event.

I’m eternally grateful for family: new, old, borrowed, invented… and food.

It was a delightful day, with delightful people.

J and I went neighborhood shop shopping the day after Thanksgiving. We figured we were safe on foot.

I do so enjoy hanging with him. He makes the simple shine.

Co-workers and Christmas lights…

First day of the advent calendar, we lost interest after that. I blame the chocolate quality.

I still cook with my mom’s thermometer.

I made chai concentrate for part of my co-workers gifts.
It was Christmas in a bottle, plus it made my house smell perfect.

I’m so much better of a friend when you live close. Handmade or baked presents are my jam. That rarely translates well with shipping.

Holiday (work) Christmas Party…

My sister and her minis spoil me.

I’ll photograph my other treasures later…

East Coast trip…

We left for New Jersey Christmas Day.

We got winter…

I sat in this spot next to the wood burning stove for five days.

We watched a lot of DIY tv (became instant fans of Chip & Joanna).
And, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
I read all five Percy Jackson books, (thank you MIL)…

She is one of my favorite parts of J.

My Sisters in Law are remarkable.

The perks package is what sold me on him.

He was/is a bit of a spiderman fan…

My first train ride: Philly to Boston.

NYE with very good friends.
We miss this crew.

Snow Days a plenty…

Mexican Train: Highly recommended for all.

Goodbye cold Boston, thank you for teaching me what a bomb cyclone is.

J’s eighth first day.
Eight hours after getting home from the East coast. He’s impressive.

Tomorrow is Belly Laugh Day.
Please find a reason to have one.

Happy New Beginnings, Loves!

Trick or Treat…

Apple cider donuts. I haven’t been able to find anywhere out here that makes them. They are an essential part of fall on the north-east coast.

They taste nothing like apple cider.

I asked my friend who moved here from CT if she’d run across any yet… no go.

Her last trip home she brought me back a couple… That is a good friend.

I still keep my eye out…

Co-worker weekend holiday… Like I don’t get enough of these circus freaks during the week.

They make me tolerate California…

Year number seven with this guy. (Who, when I write, “this guy” still brings a smile to my face.)

Of course oysters.

Seven is a lucky number.

Thanks for coming over for dinner, Leon…

Why did you go with the Audi…?

It looks like all I ever do is eat out…

CA fire sunset.

My parents came for a visit… It was a perfect visit.

Watching Ethan (my nephew) play football in Montana… I even got a glimpse of the rest of my family.

I can’t help but love technology sometimes.

Mostly I just want to live in the woods…

Rosie the Riveter Museum.

I tend to migrate to garden stuff…

Last picture dry…

Lots of walks…

And cards…

And garden time…

I miss having them around…

Happy Halloween, Loves.

I’m going to go find a twix.

 

Sup…?

Montana…

Bob’s garden…

I want to put a tiny, old camper right in the middle and live forever. (Well maybe not forever, I don’t think I’ll want to live in a camper when I’m 90.) (Or January thru April.)

I’m thankful for every minute I get to spend with these two… One more week and they’ll be at my house!

This girl and I met on a Sunday morning in church. We were 13.

In four months we will be in Washington celebrating our 40th year around the sun. (We are seven days apart.) We’ve been talking birthday trip for as long as we’ve been friends…

Oh how I love these girls… I’m lucky to have so many best friends.

My newest niece, Pika.

 

The first born Girard child. I wish I got to see him more…. For now, lunch, and an hour of photography talk. (Sorry, J and Dad.)

We spent two days at my eldest sister’s house. Her new house… in the middle of nowhere. It was glorious.

 

Creepy baby.

I do love my brothers-in-law. They have both been in my life since I was in grade school. We have all mellowed nicely…  I enjoy our visits.

One day was spent baking pies.

I love pie.

Rummy is the official card game of our family.

I look forward to a good thunder/lightning storm. I’m usually rewarded at some point while I’m out there.

This was the closest we got…

It was hot and dry and smoky the whole trip.

So. Many. Dogs.

Up north to my other sister’s house….

I love this family with every fiber of my being.

I haven’t been to Scobey  in years (my birthplace – fourth grade ). So many of my strongest memories take place in this town. And my grandparent’s house. My dad was the youngest of five who grew up in the house my middle sister now lives with her family. I spent so much of my childhood at that house.

 

Located on 20 acres just west of Scobey, Montana, is the Daniels County Museum and Pioneer Town. Thirty-five historic buildings have been restored to depict a town in the early 1900’s. The museum has a collection of antique cars, tractors and machinery.

The annual Pioneer Days celebration is always held the last weekend in June. During Pioneer Days, you can start your day with a Threshman’s breakfast of pancakes and sausage in the old cook cars that served workers during the harvest. Spend the rest of your day touring the many restored buildings including a blacksmith shop, general store, churches, one-room country school, to name just a few. The afternoon features a parade with antique cars, trucks and tractors.

The Rex Theatre is home to the Dirty Shame Show where the Dirty Shame Belles perform their high-energy dance routines to musical numbers performed by the Dirty Shame Dixieland Band, in between the dancing and music is a variety show, featuring comedy skits and sing-alongs.

(If you are curious about Pioneer town, this is a great post…)

My sister was thoughtful enough to schedule a tour while we were in town. I’d never taken the official tour.

Once a year this was my weekend… often dressed like this.

My grandma had an impressive rock collection, which is now at the museum.

The library donated some old books to be on display in the schoolhouse. I found a book both my sister and I had checked out. It must have been the school library because the name on the middle line is in my mom’s handwriting, and she was the librarian.

I used to hang out here with my grandpa…

Ahhh, my grandpa…

Myself, my dad, and him are all the babies of the family. (We all have crooked tops of our pinkies. I think about them every time I get a shooting pain through my hand while wringing out a washcloth.)

He was a blacksmith, I believe only as a hobby. I used to love watching him bend metal, and the smell of that shop…

Right now is a much better time to be doing hair…

My sister found the car she learned to drive in. It was my auntie Mary’s…

This may be the creepiest and coolest thing I’ve ever seen.

My longest running friend drove six and a half hours to come see me in Scobey. She is one of the best people I know. I don’t get to see her near enough.

And she made me this… My life is kept warm with quilts made by her.

One less thing he hasn’t done…

My sister was hand feeding two orphan barn kittens. Entertaining to say the least.

My other Brother-in-law.

He is singing, I can tell by his posture.

It  doesn’t usually look like a used car dealership there…

This dining room has hosted countless family meals, and birthdays, and card games…

My three sisters: Mary Kay (with me on her lap) Jeanne (beautiful poncho)  Anne (leaning in the table). And two cousins: Char (yellow tank) Kathy  (standing in the white shirt).

Clockwise: My brother Joey, Mary Kay, Char, Jeanne.

My grandparents on their 50th wedding anniversary.

See you in May!

We drove home through Helena and Missoula.

I love the ocean, but I love the mountains. I don’t want to live away from them ever again.

Helena was a very cool town. I have only been there once, and that was at least 15 years ago. It was nice to catch up.

The third Wilcott sister…

Because I can’t wait to get back to Montana, I forget there are people who can’t wait to get out of Montana…

This is Justin, one of those very people. I believe he is literally moving to L.A. as I type this. He was a bartender in Missoula. He was tired of living in smoke and cold. I don’t blame him…

It can also be magical.

The smoke was bad. You can see it in the light.

Because of this…

and this…

I was able to wander around this block for a good long time…

These two gems were a bright Missoula spot.  (We found a badass mirror that looks like an eclipse in this store.)

One of those was not the case.

It made for pretty sunsets though.

October is Pizza month…

And, overload on fall scented items month…. (That reminds me, I was looking around for something to light my candle.)

Happy Fall, Loves! Take a huge autumn sniff out there for me… I so miss it.