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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/normajeantrent
Rated: E · Book · Biographical · #2198921
Norma's Wanderings around a small section of Montana
2020 has truly gotten off to a weird start. The whole Corona virus or is it Covid-19 or is it Wuhan virus or my favorite term, Kung flu, has the entire world in an uneasy state. But make lemonade when the world gives you lemons.

Here in Montana, we have lots of open air and open space and little sickness. Hooray for the rural life!

So keep on writing everyone. The fuel is there and the fire is raging and needs fed.

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August 8, 2020 at 1:12pm
August 8, 2020 at 1:12pm
This morning on the porch it is 45 degrees. Really. I checked. Hubby left early for a prayer breakfast at church. His parting words were 'Don't turn on the heat.' How did he know that was in the back of my mind? *Smirk* Hard to believe it is that cool for August. Feels like fall. But the light angle has changed. It always does about this date in August.

Last night up the street some kind of altercation took place. I was on my porch swing, relaxing, reading, and suddenly I heard some kind of commotion. I sit up and see some guy beating the back window of a black jeep that was in the street. The black jeep then tore up the street in front of me, a woman driving, with no back window. Hmmmm..... I still wonder what that was all about. I waited for police to show up. The black jeep came back a little later then left again. It hasn't been back since. I don't think I would go back to someone who could beat up my car. ANYWAY, later I thought, I wonder if there is glass in the street. So I walked down there, and sure enough, broken glass all over the street. So I walk back home and report to hubby. Of course he is upset, 'Don't get involved, don't go over there, don't, don't, don't....' Now today I just got back from a walk. I saw a sheriff go by, and flag them down. I tell them about the glass in the street, it's still there, the person still has not cleaned it up. So we'll see if it gets swept up. Drama.

I walked down to a flea market that is held every Saturday. My friend that brings us eggs *EggG* weekly has a booth there where she sells fresh vegetables. Most everyone is doing a memorial to a woman who died last week that used to work in a restaurant in town. I think I mentioned that I do not have fond memories of this person, while most all the booths at the flea market had wonderful posters in her honor. Whatever. I actually felt sorry for her, she was treated like a slave, in my opinion, by the owners of the restaurant. She worked from 6 AM to 10 PM, 7 days a week. Never took a day off. She was the manager. But then, if you let people use you, you deserve what you get.

Hubby is resting after a trying morning. He came home and said he cracked a filling. At breakfast. Eating bacon. ???? How does one do that? I feel badly for him, now back to the dentist come Monday. Pablum and applesauce for two days, my man.

Everyone enjoy these last summer days! I just hope the sun *Sun* warms things up a bit!

August 7, 2020 at 11:40am
August 7, 2020 at 11:40am
Today may be an interesting day. There is a Red Flag warning issued. For those not schooled on this, it is a warning for Fire Danger. High winds, low humidity mean fire danger. This is a big problem here in Montana and other parts of the West this time of year.

The fire siren down at the volunteer fire station has been going off quite a bit lately. And I see posted lots of fires around. So pray that the winds aren't too bad this afternoon, 25 to 30 MPH predicted. But on the plus side, maybe all the grasshoppers will be blown to North or South Dakota! Score!

There is a used book sale starting this morning. The friends of the library have this yearly. A good time to stock up on books. Of course, I already can start my own library. But so many books, so little time. I just have to go and see what treasures I can unearth. Of course, they are making it annoying, masks required, and gloves. Fuss and bother. I'll take my own mask, but gloves? Really? I would think it would be cheaper to just put out sanitizer and make sure people use it. But the powers that be say use a mask and gloves, and I want books, I guess I'll do it.

We do the museum volunteer guide thing today. It is a quiet 4 hours the past few weeks. No one has been in on our tour of duty. Nice time to sit, talk a bit, read a bit, and I take a notebook and sometime write. Of course, since we are retired, we don't get all that tired anymore, but it is nice to just sit and have no agenda for a few hours.

Did anyone see this thing posted about the moon and mars being together in the sky on August 27th? Well - I did some research, and no, Mars can never appear as big as the moon. Just a bunch of hooey. As usual - Facebook hooey. But it would be fun if it was true. You can see the moon and Mars close to each other this weekend, but Mars is never more than a red star for us. Unless you write SciFi and then it is the most wonderful place in the universe, full of undiscovered aliens and towns and new technologies.

So, off to the book sale.*BookStack2**Reading* It only happens once in a Blue Moon!! *Moon*

August 6, 2020 at 10:37am
August 6, 2020 at 10:37am
It is a beautiful day on the porch. Blue sky, sun just up a little behind the museum. It promises to be a hot one. But since it's August, we expect and hope for a few more hot days before the weather starts to change. And change it will, come September.

Let's see, yesterday was my busy day. Meals on Wheels, church, then volunteer time at the thrift store. I didn't go to play practice, since it was Act 2 only, and my only line is at the very end, and that is only "Ahhh! Murderer! Ahhhh! Police!!!" I begged off last week. I didn't see the virtue of driving 20 miles to say three or four words. And suffer through two hours of rehearsal with everyone's struggling. So I'll pick it up again next week. I'm gathering up my props and costume though. I believe that the sooner you get all that in order, the easier it is to get into character.

Meals on Wheels *CarG* was the usual route, except at one stop a lady comes running up to us. "You don't have us on the list?" Nope, that name was crossed off.

"Here, take a meal. We'll go back and get another."

"Oh, no, can't put you out. It's okay."

"Really, it's okay, we'll go back. No problem."

"I know I told them today, but not tomorrow."

Well, of course, someone had it backwards. So we drove back to get another meal. So as I stand there and ask for another, the powers that be start discussing whose fault it was that this happened. I didn't care, just get me a meal so I can get back in the car and get the rest delivered before things get cold. *Frown*

So the meal was chili dogs. Oh brother. I don't eat pork, no hot dogs for me. I don't eat chili, can't do the beans. I don't eat bread, the gluten. Yeah - welcome to my world. So I ate coleslaw, pickled beets, raw cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes. Sour cream dip? No, can't do the milk. A cookie? No, can't do the wheat. My husband then asked the server, well, since Norma isn't eating a hot dog, can I have hers? The answer, 'No, there are only so many for this many people.' And she waves her hand in the air to indicate the overwhelming crowd of twenty. 'But you can come back after everyone is served and if any are left, you can have one.' Okay folks, to us it didn't make any sense. I wasn't eating one. He could have had mine. Correct? *Headbang* So next time I will just take the dirty dog and give it to hubby. Eliminate the confusion.

I rode my bike to church. I have a sweet Columbia bike replica from 1952. Since I live in a small town in a flat area of Montana, I can ride this baby everywhere. Yesterday hubby had to make a trip to Billings, again, for the remodeling project. A special stain for the woodwork. So I pedaled on over. We had our little study. It is led by a lady who used to teach school. *Scholar* You can tell she was a great teacher. Then after that we make our way to the thrift store.

The thrift store is doing well. Bang up business lately. But I think that is because people don't want to drive to Billings. That city has a lot of the virus right now, and masks are required. Folks just don't want to do that. So they would rather shop local. Anyway, the store is busting at the seams with donations. Holy Cow! *Cow*

Yesterday I worked on just getting pictures, picture frames, those sorts of things in order for a big sale come Monday. 'Starving Artist Sale' is my proposal. $1 for any artwork. We have so many pictures. I thought this might be a way to unload some.

I have taken on the task of dreaming up sales for the store. It is fun, and sometimes it pays off big. Before I started do it, maybe the manager would sometimes think of something to do. Now it's several times a month, always something goofy. Because that's how the Queen likes it.

Today we are cleaning the car. Ugh. We have to shampoo the upholstery, clean the rugs. It's a real mess. It was spotless when hubby drove it home last July. We are bad car owners. We let it go too long.

A real victory was had the other day! The neighbors mowed their grass. These folks bought a huge house next to us, claimed they would be totally rehabbing it soon. Right. That was last fall. Nothing since then. The grass *Grass* hadn't been mowed since late in June. It was a real jungle. Finally I called the city office and complained. I know that is where all the grasshoppers *Grasshopper* *Grasshopper* *Grasshopper* *Grasshopper* I whine so much about came from. And after my complaint, they came and mowed. Hurrah! *Smile*

So the Queen is off to clean. I do hate so when all the workers leave for vacay.

August 3, 2020 at 11:17pm
August 3, 2020 at 11:17pm
Here I sit in the living room, just about ready for a storm to start. Or will it? Gray skies on the horizon, but the air is dry. The barometer is falling and the weather service and radar says it's on the way. Perhaps. *Lightning* *Rain* We could use a good rain. But please, no hail. That would be bad. Worse than the curse of grasshoppers. And when the hoppers show up as a big green blob on radar, you know they are a problem.

Tomorrow is Billings day. Oh brother. That means a whole day of shopping. Fun and games. Then today I added another stop. Let me back up. Friday night hubby and I were sitting in the same living room watching a TCM movie, innocent enough. I rubbed my eye, no big deal. Then it seemed a bit scratchy after. So when the movie ended, I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. "Uh, honey...Look at this!" My entire eye looked like a big red marble. His response, "Get in the car. We're going to the ER." So we go, 'Did you call your eye doctor?' is the response of the RN, and no, I didn't because he would probably say go to the ER! and then the provider on duty, which by the way is never a doctor, just a nurse practitioner or some such thing, gives me a cursory glance then calls an eye doctor in Billings, then sends me on my way after telling me it's a type of superficial hemorrhage. Should clear up after a few days. So we go home. I've been laying low for a few days. But then today I thought perhaps my real eye doctor should look at this. *Doctor* So I have an appointment to see him tomorrow. But of course, I had to rearrange my haircut appointment to make that work. Now we have a laundry list of places to go. Stop here, stop there, get this, get that. Buy this, buy that. I'm already tired.

A lady that worked at a restaurant here in town passed away a few days ago. She'd worked there for years. I worked there for a few weeks. My opinion of her was not kind. So at a meeting this morning everyone was saying how kind and caring and wonderful she was. I just had to say "Sorry, but I must be the only person in town that has to disagree with all of you." None of those people ever worked with this woman, strange how opinions of people are formed. I had no preconceived idea going into the job, but sure had an opinion as I left that position.

I went to the post office this morning on behalf of a non-profit group I head. We do a mass mailing in the fall, and I have no clue on how to proceed. And as you would know it, the previous head gave me no information on how to do this. The post mistress was the most helpful person, she even gave me her home number, call me at home *Smartphone* at night if you need help getting this going. When is the last time a government employee told you that? *ThumbsUp* So now I have to work on EDDM as they call it. Get with the printer, edit the flier, get the project going. *Smile*

Then today at our lunch time a friend calls and asked if we could open the museum, we live right across the street. The volunteer was running late. Shelley is the volunteer coordinator and knows we'll pretty much do whatever she asks, within reason. 'Sure, no problem.' So I wander over, carrying my lunch plate. But boy, she sure takes her time getting there. Then I go back home and we have dessert. Mmmm, homemade yellow cake with chocolate icing. *CakeB*

Monday is Bible study at church, then we do a Bible study live on the radio and Facebook. Except today as we got started Facebook had a hiccup and stopped in the middle of it all. DARN! Since I was the moderator today, I looked down at the computer and thought to myself, really?? So I just exit out of the blasted computer and say FINE! *Smirk* No more computer. I will post an apology to our listeners when I get home.

Most every Monday I motor over to my favorite thrift store and say hey. I found a really cute skirt I put on hold til I volunteer there on Wednesday. So we talk a few moments before they close then I come home for the night. Now I'm watching a favorite show - 'Chopped' - on the Food network. I love seeing what they do with normal and weird ingredients. *Shark* *Bird* *Cabbage* *StarfishB* *Lemon* *Utensils*

Still waiting on rain folks!

July 31, 2020 at 12:34pm
July 31, 2020 at 12:34pm
It's beautiful on the porch today. Now if it could stay this way all day I'd be a happy camper. *Smile* But it will be hot the weather prognosticators say. But it is July 31st, so okay fine, enjoy it while we can. Soon the wind *Wind* and *Snow4* will be here and then we'll all be moaning and groaning about the cold. So bring on the sun*Sun*.

The other day I got a big surprise. A letter from a little gal that used to live across the alley from us then moved to SC wrote a kind little letter.*MailGr* *NotepadY* It has been about three years or more since she moved, with no contact since two days ago. Emery, curious name for a little girl, used to come over and visit several times in a month. Then she brought her big sister sometimes. I always felt a bit sorry for the two of them. But suddenly mom and dad decided Montana was not the wonderful place they thought it would be, and off they left in a hurry. So I wrote a note back to the little friend in hopes she'll be my penpal now.

The grasshopper saga continues. The little buggers are still chomping and gnawing their way through my garden and flowers. They leisurely chew the potatoes, corn, kale, and yesterday I saw they added a green tomato to the salad bar offering. Rotten little beggars. We go out and catch some and put them in the jar of death, the vinegar bath. But that is like whistling in the wind. *Whistle* *Wind* Ineffective at best. But it makes us feel just a bit better.

So I've decided these are the best ways to get rid of the pests: *Duck* *Chicken* *Poison* *Snow1**PirateShip**Martian**Bomb* *Witch**Cross1*. I've considered all the options over the past few days and decided that the last one is the best one. I've been praying the little green locusts disappear. And they will. First cold weather, they'll be gone.

We just had a visitor, the local artist that helped us in the past with woodwork in our past remodeling projects. He is now going to make the windowsills for the current room we're doing, plus another for the last room in the first floor that we'll tackle in the next year or two. Hubby fretted over this the past few days about how to do these windowsills, he can't do them, the helper we've hired says he 'maybe can' so I suggested we call the artist. Troy is skilled in all things wood, and does a bang-up job. Of course, you have to deal with an artist's sense of time, at the speed of molasses some times, and an artist's price, not cheap, but his work is exceptional. So problem solved. I pray.

Today we volunteer at the museum. Perhaps we'll get some visitors. Maybe not. The virus has posted a victim in our county. The first one since March. And we were doing so well. Darn. Of course, with the way things are reported with this madness, this person could be one of the astronauts on the space station, but if that person lives in Musselshell County, they are listed in our numbers. Strange goings on.

So everyone enjoy the cusp of summer! Here in Montana it is bittersweet. Kids go back to school in a few weeks. The sun will be getting less and less each day. Soon fall will be here and then winter. Hard to think about when it will be 95 degrees today. *HeartG*
July 27, 2020 at 9:23pm
July 27, 2020 at 9:23pm
Today we left the house at the wonderful temperature of 60 degrees. Yes - it is July 27th and it was chilly. Tomorrow is hubby's birthday, and I shudder when I think how old he will be. But that doesn't matter. He wanted to go fishing. We don't live near any decent river, the Musselshell has catfish, yuck. So we decided last night to drive up to the Missouri. What a wonderful river that is, what history. Lewis and Clark. Fur trappers, pioneers on steamboats, Ft. Peck Dam in the depression years employing thousands of men and women.

We drive up US RT 87 from Roundup to Grass Range. Then you get on MT Rt 19 for a short time and then get on US Rt 191 and go for another ways til you get to the Charles Russell National Wildlife Area - The Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument. So we drive for about 90 miles to get there. Through mile after mile of open land, recently baled hay in those big round bales. Then occasionally you'll see some cattle, and some land gone to sagebrush. We did see some antelope next to the highway - they were really flying. That reminded me of the time we saw some antelope, a good herd of ten or so, in Big Timber. (Big Timber is between Billings and Bozeman.) We were cruising along a back road in our old Jeep, our beloved dog, Bonnie in the back. The antelope were cruising along, so we thought, 'Wonder how fast they can go?' We clocked at 45 MPH, they raced beside us for a mile or so, before we slowed down, they moved to a field and out of sight quick as anything. Amazing. So today the song, "So give me a home, where the buffalo roam, the deer and the antelope play....." So we saw antelope and cattle are ungulates like deer, so I'll count that...... but no buffalo. Darn. That would've been cool.

Anyway, up the road we go, through Petrolem County for a few miles. Now this is interesting. Petroleum County is very small. There are maybe 500 people living in the entire county. But recently an alumnus of the high school gave the county over a million dollars to build a community center in Winnett, the county seat. Amazingly generous. So through Petroleum County on the way to Grass Range, a small little burg off the highway. Stop at the light and keep going. You see Black Butte and the Judith Mountains off to the West as you drive. Beautiful. But there are over 40 more miles to go. And now you enter Fergus County. And then suddenly you are at the bridge over the Missouri. It's a large river. So we take the drive to the fishing access area. Hubby finds a place to park. Ahhh, bathroom. Good idea. Goops, locked up because of the virus. Really? Oh well, bushes work. Then we
walk down to the bank, high above the river. We put the grasshoppers *Grasshopper* in our yard to work. They are bait, take that, you buggers. He fishes for several hours, I walk about. Fishing *FishP* to me is like watching paint *PaintBrush* dry, watching grass *Grass* grow, playing golf *Golf* . Boredom. I read a book. I take pictures. I take a nap. We eat some food, he fishes some more. You may catch paddle fish here. That would be cool! No dice. Or sturgeon. No dice. He gets one nibble. So after a time, we decide to go over to the other side of the river, where there is better access to the river bank.

The other side of the river is a recreation area, camping and such. The bathrooms there are open, curious. Why here and not there? Who knows. No one around to ask. Oh well. We park under a tree because now it is about a million degrees in the sun. After a time, we eat the rest of our food, and before we leave, hubby decides to use the bathroom. He wanders to the toilet, but uses the bushes beside it. When he comes back, I say, "Why go outside? The bathrooms here are open." He replies, "I know, but this one is closed." "What? Why this one?" "A big snake crawled under the wall there and curled up right beside the door, so this one is now closed." COOL! What kind of snake? Rattlesnake? "How should I know? I wasn't about to get close enough to look." So I had to go get the camera and go back and check this out. Now remember, I'm the one that touched the alligator, or was it a crocodile? in the Everglades and lived to tell about it *Crazy* . I have a picture of this extremely large brown and yellow snake coiled up in front of the door to the vault toilet at the campground. I'm also the snake wrangler at the motel where we used to work. Snakes and things don't bother me. I looked it up at home, it's a gopher snake. They can get to be 7 feet long, common to all of Montana. Wonderful.......

So we bundle back in the car and make the trip back home, no fish but a really cool snake story! Plus two antelope. It was a good day.
July 25, 2020 at 2:50pm
July 25, 2020 at 2:50pm

Friday - We’ve had a lot of call outs for the volunteer firefighters, another this afternoon as we sat manning the Museum lobby. Skunked again, by the way. No visitors.

So hubby and I have a theory. It’s dry out there on the prairie. There are a plague of grasshoppers. We think it’s all those hoppers rubbing their legs together - all that friction causing grassfires. So, we think we should line them up, blindfold them and shoot the little buggers. No Miranda act, no second chances. There’ll be a million tomorrow hatching to take their places so no big loss.

Hubby and I worked on the garden last night. We used some Home Defense spray around the perimeter. Kind of like a little boy peeing on a big fire, but, hey, it made us feel better. Then I had a grand idea. Why don’t I catch some and put them in some kind of container full of some liquid? No gasoline, so I used vinegar. So from about a billion (and I do tend to exaggerate a bit, ask hubby) I think I caught twenty or so and plunged them into the acid bath in a mason jar with a lid. They are there still. In the sun. In the 90 degree heat. Hmmmm. I wonder what kind of pickling that would be…….. *Poison* And no, I am not going to try eating them. I don’t think I am that hungry.

I visited with a motel owner yesterday for my SE Montana Tourism duty. He stated that his revenue so far for the year is down $60,000. Horrible. I feel so bad for the tourism industry, and not just for Montana, which relies heavily on tourism dollars, but for the entire world. No one is traveling. Everyone is afraid. Hubby and I are not afraid and we are probably in the minority. We feel that more people die from heart disease and other problems than from this virus. And we are of the age that death does not scare us anymore. In fact, some days, it sounds welcome. And that is not to make light of people’s suffering, or to ignore the pain of those who lost loved ones. But we cannot keep letting this interfere with our lives. We have to let things settle into a new normal, whatever that may be. We have to let fear take a back seat. Because if you let fear drive your life, it will shorten it and make it less OF a life.

Saturday - It’s a wonderful Summer day today. The sky is blue, the temperature is about 80, not bad for a late July Saturday. I slept in. And for once I did sleep a little. I knew I slept because I had a little dream. About a neighborhood girl, Alivia. That’s all I remember of the dream, the girl and her name. She used to come over a lot to play a bit. She used to bring a friend, Ally. They were quite the pair. Alivia always wanted to play with my computer, some game by NatGeo called Animal Jam. *Computer* It was fun. Then Ally always wanted me to sew for her, always a purse.*PurseV* She had the idea and chose the fabrics from my stash and I made the purse. Always a purse. *PurseB* These girls no longer come over, Alivia is older and Ally moved away, something about mom and dad and custody, sad story. Alivia is being raised by grandparents while mother does time for drugs, another sad story.

I rode my wonderful bike today instead of a walk. Down to the fairgrounds and back. It was a nice two mile ride. Then hubby and I consulted on the remodeling project. Slow but sure is the status on that.

Then walking by is a little girl I know from a couple at church, their granddaughter Annabelle. She and her mother just moved into a house down the street owned by the other daughter of Edith and Robert. Now this is another soap opera. You’ll need to make a flow chart for this.*Puzzle2* So Angie with sons, sons are in California to visit father for the summer, are moving to another house that Angie’s boyfriend bought for her in town. Now Angie’s sister is moving into Angie’s house with Annabelle. Angie’s sister, I think her name is Marcie?,that doesn’t matter, is from Big Fork, MT, and has left her boy friend. So now Robert and Edith will have two of their children in town with them. Robert and Edith have two sons also, foster sons they have adopted that are now in Arizona visiting their other son. They should be home in time for school to start. Are you confused yet?

Yes, it’s a wicked world we live in. And a very strange world now as well. Gone are the days when mom and dad and kids all lived together. The family stayed together. At least that was my experience. I know things have gotten so jumbled up, even in my childhood some had bad families and bad childhoods. But recently, oh my.

Well, so far today, no fire signal. We pray the fires are out and no new ones begin. Maybe it will rain, that would be good. *Rain*

I may have a memorial service for my corn and potatoes sometime soon. The plants are looking like a nuclear bomb *Bomb* went off in the garden patch.

Yep, 2020 is getting to be something of a year bury in the refuse pile. Just like my corn *Corn* and potato plants. *Grave*

July 23, 2020 at 12:23pm
July 23, 2020 at 12:23pm
The clouds have rolled in as we slept overnight. Good thing, too. It was about 100 degrees yesterday, a little warm. We don't use A/C in our home. We don't like it, and in Montana, you don't have extended periods of hot weather. So we close up the house, use fans. And it stays pretty cool. All except the second floor, which we haven't improved yet. And that is where I've been sleeping since the remodeling has been started. Hubby getting up at 5:30 to bang and clang around is just a little annoying. So it was just a bit warm up there last night. *Frown* But fans in the window pulling some cool air in helped. *Wind* It also pulled in the sound of the fire siren, at 11:00 and again around midnight. Seems there was a fire out east of town, per someone's Facebook posting this morning. I guess it's still burning. Darn. I pray every time there's a siren. Pray for the people involved. Pray for the siren and also if I hear a helicopter on the way to the hospital. That's also not a good sound.

So yesterday was my busy day. But I did have a good time. Met with a lady at one of the motels. Got rid of some SE Montana tour guides. She told me she had a lot of reservations canceled for the summer, but on the up side, she has quite a few rooms rented to workers on the road project. So the scale is balanced in her favor again. Then my friend Waneta at church shared some of her garden bounty, fresh tomatoes. *Tomato* Yum! Nothing better than a dead ripe tomato, red as red can be. The red that red was named for. The red of Crayola red crayons. Going on a salad today. Then off to the thrift store. We always have fun there. Nora, Waneta and I met up with Kay and her three little grandchildren in tow. The little ones played with donated toys, *Toy* while we sorted treasures. Someone donated a broiler/rotisserie machine. So, if you don't want to pay $1.99, or whatever, for that Costco Chicken, you can do one at home. Deal! Some collector plates of horses for each month of the year. Deal! A fake Ficus tree with lights. Deal! Kay bought that for the children's room at church. Deal! She also took some fabric, she's a quilter. Plus the usual flotsam and jetsam from people's donations. It always amazes us the amount of stuff donated. There were perfectly fine men's jeans we found, but oh my! the smell. So I sprayed them with Febreeze. I fear they may be unsellable. Like I said, I always, ALWAYS, wash my hands well when I come home.

Nora went home early, we feared for her. She is older than most of us. But it was hot. I did call her this morning. She's out mowing the lawn, her sister said. So she's fine.

On the way to play practice last night, a feast for the eyes! I saw: a doe and fawn with spots crossing the road. Deer in the fields. I think I saw a cormorant on a log in the river. I know I saw a great blue heron flying overhead. The feet behind the body give it away. The road I take is Route 12 East to Musselshell, a tiny community. This road follows the Musselshell river most of the way.

Play practice went well. Dalen is the director of this production. We'll see about that. I have a very, and I repeat, very small part. I'm on once in Act 1 and at the end. I already know my part. I could actually miss most rehearsals and do fine. But this is about building the team and all, so I go. Thankfully on the way home I see no wildlife. I have over the past few years doing this learned that if I honk my horn, animals will perhaps not cross the road. So I honk my horn all the 20 miles home. *Worry* Then when I get to the outskirts of Roundup, I can breathe a sigh of relief. I stop and clean my windshield from all the bug guts and drive the few blocks home.

This morning I go to the hardware store and check for NEEM oil. My friend, the hardware girl, says, "Well, it could be in the warehouse, see all those boxes?" *Box* Yep, there they are. "There are only 3 of us here. But if I see it, I'll set it aside for you." Okey dokey, I'll be by later. Pleasantries for a few more minutes and back here I trudge.

Then I make a phone call to the printer for the MUD brochures. I am chairman for the MUD. Musselshell Unity Drive. Curious why they named it such. I am the new chairman this year. The old chairman is no help. So I'm on my own. She threw some boxes at me, told me who did the printing. Kind of, good luck with this. So, I'm going to change things up a bit.

My writing is going out to the paper. "Our name is MUD - now that I have your attention. Let me tell you what we're about......" is how I started the article. Then for a series of weeks I'm going to profile the organizations that benefit from the fund raising. The previous chairman did nothing like this. So we'll see what happens.

Hubby is busy with the floor in the remodeling room. Staining and fixing and puttering. We discussed the closet doors we need to purchase. Seems a road trip to North Dakota or Wisconsin is in the future. Hmmmm.........

Queen Norma Jean *Crown*
July 22, 2020 at 12:15pm
July 22, 2020 at 12:15pm
This morning on the porch is warm and sunny. Today is to be hot, they say. With a cloudless blue sky and bright sun, the weatherman may be right. But it is July, and at this elevation we are closer to the sun than most, so we will probably be hot. But the best thing about our low humidity is the cool-off at night. It was 57 degrees this morning. Nice.

A man staying with Jack and Heather, who live two doors down, finally moved his big 5th wheel RV. It had been parked on the street for about a month. Annoying, it blocked traffic, making our street a one-way. So yesterday we saw his big truck hooked to the trailer and then off it went. Hooray! The street is clear again.

The grasshoppers are still gnawing away on the garden. Little terrorists. We tried to buy some organic preparations online, but all sources are sold out. I guess we aren't the only ones having troubles. *Grasshopper**Grass* *Grasshopper**Grass**Grasshopper* The hardware store said they may have the magic potion in on Thursday. We'll see if that is true and we''ll buy that Neem oil. I know Sevin works, but I do an organic garden. So I moan and groan about pests, but put up with them.

Soon we head out to do Meals on Wheels. *CarG* We have a routine, and it takes more or less half an hour. So first down 3rd Street West, a few ladies there, then down to 1st Street West, a lady there. Then it's over to Main Street and a lady who works at the Self Storage office. Then over to the East side, a man in a repair place, then two ladies on 2nd Street East, a lady and man on 6th Ave East, then back to 1st Street East and a couple there, then over to a rent-controlled apartment with meals for two ladies. Then we head back across Main Street and give a meal to a man on 10th Ave West, head up the hill and give meals to a lady in a trailer on 13th Street West and another to a family, not sure who gets this one, right across the street. Sometimes there are more, sometimes there are less. But that is pretty much the route we take. Hubby drives and gives out meals, I keep track of the list and help when there are two at an address. *Smile* So we not only deliver meals, we also check on people. Say hello, make sure they are okay. Report back to the powers that be if we see anything out of the ordinary. For some of these folks, it may be the only visitor they get all day, any day.

So off to Meals on Wheels. I hope the meal is something I can eat. If not, back home again to fix home food. I will try to drop off some SE Montana *Mountains* tour guides to motels today, then off to church *Cross1* , then off to the thrift store *ShirtG* , then later off to play practice *Mask*. Whew, Wednesday is a busy day for me. But I enjoy busy. Good thing.

July 20, 2020 at 11:51am
July 20, 2020 at 11:51am
I've been invaded, friends. The enemy has arrived. They have taken over part of my space and now I'm sure will be breaking down my doors soon. Unfortunately, it's too late to call the law. Damage has been done. I'm doomed.

Grasshoppers. Hundreds of them have descended upon the garden. We do an organic garden so don't use pesticides. So I discover Neem oil and diatomaceous earth may work. But they munched on my kale, were cavorting in the corn, and prancing among the potato plants. ARGH!!!!!! Little rotten buggers! I am mad about it, my hubby says, what are you to do? You've made a jungle out of the garden space, it's all your fault. So now we have a little feud about that, not the grasshopper issue.

So this morning I'm sitting on the porch fuming about this. But it's a nice day, the sun is shining, the sky is blue with a few clouds. What is normally a quiet place to sit is now noisy. The main street through town, a block over, is being torn up for water pipe replacement. And what a mess this is. All the water pipes in town are original, from the 1910 era. Our water is horrid, corrodes pipes, appliances. You can't drink it. We drink reverse osmosis water and have an elaborate filter on the house water besides. ANYWAYS, my quiet interlude is not so quiet this morning.

I did see my neighbor out. I hadn't seen her outside for weeks. I do see her dog out, so I know she's around. She has neck problems after a car wreck some time ago, so she has pain issues. It was good to see Janet outside.

An interesting fellow just rode by on his bike. His name is Tim. He lives several blocks over. He never made it past the 3rd grade in school. He lives alone and does interesting folk art. He is always unkempt, untidy, disheveled. Those adjectives don't really describe him. He is one of those people that once he starts talking, you can't get away from them. He also carries a purse and wears a bra. I try not to judge. But I guess by writing those lines I just did. Every town needs a character and I guess he is Roundup's.

I should go check the garden. But I am mad. I don't want to lose all the potatoes. We ate potatoes for months last year from what grew last summer.
Perhaps I should catch all the grasshoppers and serve them for lunch. Chocolate covered. *Grasshopper* *Grasshopper* *Grasshopper*

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