With Fingers Crossed…

Awesome fishing. Amazing scenery. Remote setting. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? There is a 59-mile stretch of the Smith River that is only accessible by canoe or raft. There is one put-in and one take-out. If you want to float this chunk of the river, then you better have your application and $10 in to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks by mid-February, because you’re going to have to have a permit.  The drawing is conducted toward the end of the month with nine parties allowed to float on each launch day.

It is long shot, I know. We don’t even have anything large enough for the whole family to float in. But, I couldn’t help myself. The application was on the counter mere days from the deadline and I guess I was feeling kind of lucky. Perhaps hopeful is a better word. 

There was a section for the applicant to list the preferred float dates. The float takes three days, so I figured a nice Friday, Saturday and Sunday would be just right for us. As I checked the calendar, I noticed that the 17th of June just happened to fall on a Friday. This year, our 10th Anniversary  also happens to fall on that exact date. Wow, I thought, now that would be an AWESOME way to celebrate 10 wonderful years together, and enjoy some great family time while we were at it.  

Sounds perfect to me. So, I sent the application in. With my fingers crossed. And my toes. And just about every other part of me that could be crossed. If we aren’t drawn, we’ll just try again next year. But, if we are drawn, well then, I better start looking for something that floats!    

The permit lottery results will be available online on February 23. That is only two days away… 

I borrowed some photos that I found online. Hopefully one day I will have my own to share.


Food For The Soul

With all five of us either feeling sickly, recovering from feeling sickly or next in line to become sickly, it was a good day to stay home, watch some movies and do a little reading. Especially when all we saw outside was…

…snow. It snowed and snowed all day, and when it was finally done snowing, it still managed to snow some more. No worries, though, because in the kitchen we were cooking up some comfort foods.

When Rob was a boy, they always had Chili Beef Soup. It is still one of his favorite soups, and it is just perfect for warming up one’s insides. We use a slightly different recipe, but it turns out perfect, nonetheless. There a dozens of recipes to choose from when it comes to making Chili Beef Soup. 


We can polish off almost an entire pot in just one sitting. But, there is always room for dessert, so Peanut Butter Cookies were next in line. These amazing cookies are even good for you! 

Peanut Butter Cookies: 2 cups sugar, 2 cups peanut butter, 2 eggs, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 pinch salt, 1 tsp vanilla. Mix the sugar and peanut butter, then add the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Roll into balls and criss-cross with a fork. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.


Some comfort foods and a day of relaxation were just what the doctor ordered. A little more rest, perhaps one more movie, and hopefully we will all be as good as new in the morning.

A Few Of My Favorite Books

It is no secret that I enjoy reading. I am in with the group of people who would read for a living if only someone would pay us to do so. I have yet to meet that person though, so I will continue reading in my spare time, no matter how little of it there may be.

There are a handful of books that I either came by on accident, or I almost didn’t read at all. The funny thing is that these books ended up on my list of favorites. So, in no particular order, here are some great reads:

1. English Creek Trilogy by Ivan Doig. The books included are English Creek, Dancing at the Rascal Fair, and Ride With Me, Mariah Montana.

When I moved to Montana back in 1999, I had a favorite little used bookstore not too far from my apartment. I went in one day and found Ride With Me, Mariah Montana and had to get it because I felt as though it were there waiting for me to come along. I enjoyed the book, but it eventually got lost on my bookshelf. Not too long ago, I came across it and thought I should read it again. Only this time, I looked inside the cover and saw that it was the third book in a series. How had I missed that years before? No idea, but I set out to find the other two books and then read all three in order. I enjoyed the trilogy immensely. Ivan Doig has such a great writing style. His stories are funny and his wording is perfect. I have a few of his other books patiently waiting in line to be read. I have never heard a bad review about Ivan Doig and have a feeling that his other books will be just as enjoyable.

2. Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. There are seven books in this series so far, but she leaves you hanging at the end of the 7th, so I am anxiously awaiting the release of a new one. Outlander is the first book.

A friend of mine suggested that I read it, with the warning that not everyone could get into it. Of the people she had recommended the series to, about half really enjoyed it and the other half, not so much. Because of this warning, I started reading with the thought that I might not like it, which is never a good way to start a book. By about half way through though, I was hooked. I devoured the series and have to fight the urge daily to go knocking on Diana Gabaldon’s door to see if she is done with the next one yet. She is great at sucking you into the story and making you feel as though you are a part of it. A really enjoyable series, though I will warn you that there are some parts that are difficult to read.

3. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. Believe it or not, I found this book for $1 at a sale. It didn’t look like it had ever been read, but it sounded good so I decided to give it a try. Boy am I glad I did! It is a great story filled with lots of characters and details. I was afraid I was going to get everyone mixed up, but it was actually really easy to keep people straight. The ending is totally unexpected, and leaves you speechless. I sat there saying “wow.. wow.. wow..” over and over again. It was that good. I hated to see it end, which is always the sign of a remarkable book.

There are more that I have really enjoyed, but I will leave you with these for now. If you are looking for a good book to read, you might want to check one of these out.

What is your favorite word?

Journey n. 1. act of going from one place to another. 2. distance traveled in a specified time. n. voyage, expedition, trek; trip, excursion; passage, pilgrimage.

It’s the easy roads and the hard roads. The joys and sorrows. The dreams and reality all rolled into one. It’s what has been, what is and what is yet to be. It is… life. Every stage. Every phase. Every minute of every day.  

Sunshine And Happiness

“I’m not a doctor and I don’t know the technical terminology, but I do know that sunshine activates our happiness glands.”  ~Jessi Lane Adams

Beautiful, warm sunshine, how we have enjoyed your visit. The past few days have been absolutely perfect. Unfortunately, the weatherman has informed us that you won’t be back for a while. I know this is true, because the walk to school today was completely different from the walk home. The sunshine that brightened our morning was replaced by gray skies and a cold breeze.

I thought though, that if you could see how much we all enjoy your visits, we might be able to convince you to hurry back. It is only while you are here that Remi will sleep on the kitchen floor, and oh, how he loves it.

But you are not ours to keep, and so with great fondness, we say farewell. Others love and deserve your warmth as much as we do, but please hurry back to us. Things just aren’t the same when you’re away.