Farewell Summer

It seems like just last week we were all excited about the start of summer vacation. We were looking forward to three whole months of rest and relaxation without the stress and worry that school sometimes brings. But, as they usually do, summer flew by, leaving us to wonder where on earth it went, because surely it did not stick around as long as it was supposed to.

Despite our protests, time has come for school to begin again. This past Wednesday I woke the kiddos up at o’dark thirty in order to get ready for their first day. Liam is heading into 6th grade while Catheryn and Nathan are tackling 5th.

Grade school is almost a thing of the past in our house. Pretty soon it will be all middle school and young adults where my babies in elementary used to stand. Once again, time, I beg of you, please slow down. It does not seem like all that long ago when I was wishing for the opposite. Sleepless nights followed by days filled with crying and whining and non-stop demands. I was not sure if we were going to make it through, but make it we did, and now it seems like a lifetime ago…

I want them to stay young, but at the same time, I am excited to see what the future holds for them. They are bright shining lights and I know they are going to do great things. I just know it.

So, my children, as you climb on the bus each morning, please remember that I love you dearly. And I am so very proud of you. Always have been. Always will be…

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Walking with the Dinos

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Just down the road in Glendive, Montana is Makoshika State Park, Montana’s largest state park. The park has spectacular badland formations as well as fossil remains of T-Rex and Triceratops, and others. The drive through the park is beautiful and there are many hiking trails to choose from. We opted for the Kinney Coulee Trail first.

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DSC_0695-1It was a hot day and we were on the lookout for snakes. Luckily, we did not see any. The boys led the way and were extremely helpful with their advice. “Watch out, Mom, it is slippery here.” “Oh, this is really steep, watch your step.” They were also kind enough to point out little patches of shade, in case anyone needed a rest.

Next, the boys and I went out to see the natural bridge. The hike out was only about a mile, but it was pretty amazing. From the high point it felt like you could see forever. The funny thing is that it almost looked flat, like you could run your hand over a smooth painting, but it was really quite the opposite. The terrain was anything but smooth.

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DSC_0713-1It never ceases to amaze me how prickly pear can survive in area with such long, brutally cold winters…

Bragging Rights

Apparently I will never get caught up on posts unless I actually sit down and… post. Who knew?

You will have to forgive me today, because I am about to brag. I know bragging is not very attractive, but perhaps after you hear what I have to brag about, you will not hold it against me. :)

Last month we went to West Yellowstone where we met up with Rob’s sister, Mary Beth, and her husband, Jim. I had considered changing names to protect the innocent, but I realized that bragging is absolutely no fun at all if nobody knows just who you are talking about. Sorry, guys. :) So where was I? Oh yes, West Yellowstone.

Some time ago we decided that it would be fun to meet up in Yellowstone to run with Vacation Races. They put on 5k and half-marathon runs in about eight National Parks. Yellowstone worked out in easy travel distance for both parties, as well as for vacation days, so we signed up. Rob, Jim, and the twins were running the 5k together, and Mary Beth and I signed up for the half-marathon. This was to be her first!

Once we got there, Liam decided that he wanted to run as well, so we tossed him into the 5k group. The kids ran off and on through the spring, but they did not do any serious training. This was strictly for fun, though, so we were not too worried about it. They could have walked all 3.1 miles if they chose to.

Anyhoo, the 5k was on Friday night, so after seeing everyone cross the start line, Mary Beth and I walked over to the finish line. We were not sure what to expect, but we figured we would start looking for our people at about 40 minutes or so. Liam was about 10 minutes earlier than expected, followed closely by Nathan, who was followed by Rob, who was just in front of Jim and Catheryn, who came through together.

Our 5k gang!

Our 5k gang!

They all got their medals, we then took pictures and gushed over how well they all did. Just as we were getting ready to leave, we decided to stay for awards, because as Mary Beth pointed out, there were not many kids in front of Liam, so there was a chance that he placed in his age group. Awards were given to the top five finishers in each age group. Well, as it turned out, all three kids placed!

Age group medals!

Age group medals!

But the excitement did not end there. Rob rocked his age group, finishing 9th! And Jim placed in his age group as well!!! It was such an amazing night! I cannot begin to tell you how exciting it was to watch everyone run so well and have such a great time doing it. And to think, we almost left before the awards ceremony!

Way to go, Jim!!

Way to go, Jim!!

Mary Beth and I were up next, running our half-marathon on Saturday morning. Mary Beth was running her first half, and I was so honored that she invited me to run it with her. The course was a little terrifying, high elevation, steep hills, rocks galore, but we were ready.

You rock, Mary Beth!!

You rock, Mary Beth!!

It is safe to say that we did not place, or even come close, but it was such a fun time. The run was challenging, the course was beautiful, and the company was amazing. It is a run that I will never forget. Thank you, Mary Beth, for allowing me to share this experience with you!

And thank you to the race-course photographer who captured this moment that I will never forget…

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“Act like we’re running!” -Mary Beth

Just when everyone thought they were done with the running vacation, it was time for one more 5k at the Fort Union Rendezvous. (I had to work so I got out of this one!)  Once again, everyone ran a great race and all three kids, Jim, and Mary Beth placed in their age groups! Rob was 5th in his, but unfortunately this race only awarded through 3rd…

Fort Union Rendezvous

Fort Union Rendezvous

I am just so proud of everyone! I love that we were able to get out there and run together. And that is why I love running so much. It does not matter if you are tall or short, fat or thin, fast or slow. All you have to do is get out there, put one foot in front of the other, and soon you will be crossing that finish line. It is a feeling you will never forget, and one that nobody can take away from you.

Thank you, Jim and Mary Beth!!! You two are amazing! And we love you dearly. So… where are we running next?

A Sad Good-Bye

Back when we bought our little hobby farm, Wiggy Wabbit was the first animal we brought home. There was a great rabbit hutch out back that we just couldn’t wait to fill. He found Wiggy at the farm store. We had no idea how old he was, but he was not a baby. That was back in early 2007.

We had to sell the farm when we moved back to Montana, and Wiggy Wabbit was the only “farm animal” we were able to take with us. He was small, making him easy to take along, and I think we liked being able to take a piece of the farm with us. When we moved into Waldo, Wiggy came along. He was a member of the family and leaving him behind was not an option, regardless of how crowded we may have been. So when it was time to do some traveling, Wiggy went, too. I think he saw more states that the average bunny.

We would always joke about how grumpy he was. He thumped at us every time we got too loud for his liking, which was often. He was very particular about his food, snubbing almost every treat and toy we tried giving him, and only accepting veggies which met his standards. He loved chewing on his water bottle in the middle of the night. We would bark at him to stop and he would thump at us. It was a lovely cycle. One we assumed would always be there…

My heart broke this afternoon when I came home and found that Wiggy had passed away. He will not be begging for organic, peeled, perfectly sliced carrots in the morning. He will not be yanking lettuce out of our hands. He will not be waking us up with his water bottle and o’ dark thirty. He will not be staring at us with his sweet bunny eyes when we open the refrigerator.

Wiggy Wabbit, I just want to say thank you for sharing your life with us. We have thoroughly enjoyed your company. Thank you for 8.5 years of memories. We love you grumpy bunny, and we will never, ever forget you.

We love you, Wiggy Wabbit!

We love you, Wiggy Wabbit!

  

Container Gardening, RV Style

The blueberry that I didn't kill...

Blueberry, Petunias, and a little Red, White and Blue

It has been several years since we have had a garden of any kind. We decided that this year would be a good time to change that. Since we will be staying put for the summer, having some pots of fruits and veggies sounded like a great idea.

Sweet Peppers

Sweet Peppers

It all started last winter when we stumbled upon some beautiful ceramic pots on clearance at a hardware store. We came home with several large pots and then filled in the gaps with smaller pots, a tote, buckets, even a bag of potting soil.

Color and Happiness

Color and Happiness

Everything is growing so much better than I expected. Our three tomato plants are covered in flowers and baby tomatoes, both sweet and hot peppers also have babies on them as well as more flowers. We have already enjoyed two cuttings of lettuce and will be harvesting our third round tomorrow. Even our little lemon trees seem to be happy.

Two zucchini plants and some sweet potatoes.

Zucchini and Sweet Potatoes. Not the prettiest containers, but they work.

Unfortunately I did kill one of the blueberry bushes and the kitties ate some of my pepper and tomato starts, but overall I think we are doing pretty well for our first year of container gardening. I am starting to think that perhaps a few of my containers are a little too small for what I have put in them, but I guess I will just have to wait and see how they do. I planted a lot of marigolds and petunias in with the veggies, so I can always remove some if they become overly crowded.

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Tomatoes!

As the summer goes on, we will enjoy sweet peas and carrots, radishes and lettuce, tomatoes, peppers (both sweet and hot), sweet potatoes and zucchini, bush beans, strawberries, and herbs. Not bad at all for some clearance pots and a few packets of seeds. Of course, the big mystery now is where exactly we are going to put all of these pots when it is time to roll on…

Our garden.

Our garden.

My Heart Smiles…

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called. ~A.A. Milne

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My Scrapbook

July 2010

I woke up some time ago and was unable to fall back asleep. As I lay there, as silly as it sounds, Great Follies was floating through my mind. I have been on the fence for the last several months about whether or not to continue blogging, and I realized tonight that perhaps I was basing that decision on the wrong things. I thought I could let it slip away and not think too much about it. But sitting here at almost 1am, reading through old posts, watching my beautiful children grow up over the years, I realize just how wrong I was. Truth is, this little site is like my scrapbook, and it is very special to me.

I started Great Follies five years ago this month, right after we moved to Great Falls, Montana. If you had asked me then, I probably would have said that we would stay there forever, find a little house, settle in for the long haul. I never in a million years would have imagined what lay in store for us. And here is the thing: our journey is far from over. I have no idea where we are going to end up, or when or how. All I know is that anything can happen, and we are ready for whatever comes our way.

I also know that if I do not continue to share little stories and pictures, then so many of the details will be lost along the way. I need those details. I need to be able to pour over the story of our lives. I need to remember the little moments that might otherwise be forgotten.

It may take me a while to get caught up, but at least now I will be able to do so. Great Follies is back up and running…

May 2015

May 2015