Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bear with me...OK?

I'm going away on business for a couple of days and I couldn't bear to leave you without a post to read (or more accurately, some photos to see).

My friend has a cabin in the mountains of Montana. He was there this weekend and took this photo from his living room window.

A few minutes later he took this series of photos out the window of his back door.

"You lookin' at me?"

"I'm nuts about this stuff..."

"I'll be bachhhh..."

My friend saw this relatively small bear several more times during the weekend and also encountered a much larger cinnamon colored bear. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get a photo of it.

And there you have it, dear friends, my bearly tolerable post for the day. Tomorrow, early morning, I leave for a tour of the beautiful Yellowstone River and then I'm going to my dad's to spend the long weekend.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, filled with friends, family and fun. Remember to hug the ones you love and be kind to one another.

Monday, August 27, 2007

It just doesn't get any better than this...

I just arrived home from Deadwood and I have to say that it was one of the best times I've had in so long I can't remember.

Some of my best friends in the world were there (Virginia and Denton, Ken and Cindy, Augie and Patsy, and Alvin and Rosie) and we enjoyed every minute of the stay.

My friend Cindy, from Billings, shown here modeling her Diva sunglasses and flashing us the peace sign. Virg and I also bought Diva sunglasses to go with the Diva purses that Virg bought for us all. My purse is blue, Virg's is white and Cindy's is pink. They are covered in rhinestones. We decided that we all looked "precious". I'm not so sure the men-folk agreed.

Denton, Ron and Virg (modeling her Diva sunglasses).

One of the most interesting stops was at Boondocks, which is a little mini-town that caters to the tourists that frequent the Deadwood area.

We had such a blast! In Deadwood I bought souvenirs for my family and even some clothes that fit my newly and nearly slimmed down body (I've lost a little over 100 pounds since August of last year).

On our trip we saw all kinds of cool cars and while I would have loved to take photos of each and every one of them, I ended up not taking many pictures at all. Once again I decided to live in the moment, rather than take photos of it.

I did manage to photograph our friend's cars.

This is Cindy and Ken's 1969 Camaro SS convertible.

Rosie and Alvin, riding in their friend's Amphicar

Our dear friend Denton's 1948 Ford Coupe. This car goes from a dead stop to blowing your socks off in about 3 seconds. What a ride!

Probably the highlight of the 4 day weekend was seeing the excitement on my dearest friend Virginia's face when her husband presented her with her sweet new ride.

Can you say gorgeous (the car and my friends Virg and Cindy)?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Riding off into the sunset

The view from my living room window last night. The sun was setting in a spectacular fashion, making the hills appear red rather than their usual sand color.

It's time for our yearly trek to Deadwood, SD for the Kool Deadwood Nights Car Show. A group of us from town go every year and it really is a splendid event.

We leave on Friday morning at 8 am sharp so as to make our tee time in Spearfish, SD at 1:07 pm. We golf 18 holes and then drive on to Deadwood. We usually take the cars for a spin and then park them at the hotel, preferring to take the trolley down to the city center for the free concerts. Past years have featured Bill Haley's Comets, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, Bobby Vee and many others. This year we will listen to DD and the Fayroh's, Badfinger and The Association.

Gambling is legal in Deadwood and some of our group (not myself) play cards or slot machines, while others of us wander the streets shopping, checking out the cars and touring the historical buildings.

On Saturday we take part in the poker run that starts in Deadwood then goes up Spearfish Canyon and then back to Deadwood again with many colorful stops along the way.

Sunday is the day we all relax and enjoy the city of Deadwood. Most of the car show participants leave on Sunday, so we have the town all to ourselves. It really is my favorite day of the long weekend.

On Monday we drive home.

Since you can't all go along with us, I promise to take a lot of photos and post them after I return.

I'll be thinking of you all as I ride off into the sunset...

Life is beautiful...

My last post was about life for the most part, but it was also about death. Today's post is all about life.

My friend Dawn lives far away, and I miss her very much. When she gave birth to her daughter I was thrilled for her, but kind of sad too because I wouldn't be near enough to watch her baby grow up.

Fortunately she has a cell phone with a camera and isn't afraid to use it. Since the birth she has been kind enough to send photos of her incredibly gorgeous daughter Em.

Isn't life beautiful?

Monday, August 20, 2007


Happy Birthday Mom, I love you.

I wanted to write something profound (wouldn't that be a first) about my mom today, but frankly I don't have it in me. Her obituary, which was co-written by my brother and I, will have to do.

It doesn't say anything about her quirky sense of humor or her incredible cooking skills. It doesn't mention that she was a defender of the innocent and a rescuer of animals. In fact, looking back, it barely skims the essence of who she was, but it's the best I can do today.

Take good care, all, and have a wonderful day. Hug the ones you love and remember to cherish every single moment you have on earth. If your day seems to be going poorly, find something good to focus on and be thankful for it. It will bring more good to you, it truly will.

Today I am thankful for the nearly 45 years I had with my mom and best friend, Olga Kelley.

Olga ‘Grams’ Kelley

ABSAROKEE — Olga L. Kelley, 74, died Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2001, in the loving arms of her family. Grams was born Aug. 20, 1926, to Nels and Ella Bjorndal and was raised on Butcher Creek. She married Bill Kelley on Dec. 15, 1945. Olga and Bill made their home in Absarokee. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend.

Olga always involved herself in the community. She was a Boy Scout den mother, a Girl Scout leader, a counselor at Girl Scout Day Camp, a Civil Air Patrol leader, a volunteer for the Red Cross as well as running the Stillwater News and later the Absarokee Hardware Store. She always had a houseful of kids, even after her own were grown. One of her favorite activities was taking her yearly hike from Cooke City to East Rosebud. Most years, she took an assortment of kids from the Absarokee area with her. For many of them, it was their first hiking trip ever. Her last trip was taken when she was 65. Even after rheumatoid arthritis limited her physically, she still gave to the community by volunteering at Absarokee Schools as a reading tutor. She was an avid supporter of the Beartooth Nature Center.

Olga is survived by her husband, Bill; children, Mike Kelley of Absarokee and Laurie Kelley of Roberts; grandson, Nels Kelley of Roberts; adopted grandson Jess Everett of Roberts; and step granddaughter, Abbigail Ryman of Gillette. She is also survived by her sisters, Jeanette Petersen of Billings, Nora Hinton of Absarokee; her brothers Norman Bjorndal and John Bjorndal of Absarokee; two special nieces, Kay and Sharon McKittrick of Billings; two favorite nephews, Danny and Dale Petersen of Billings and close friend of the family, Dave Easterday of Cooney Dam.In accordance with her wishes, she has been cremated and no funeral service will be held. A celebration of her life will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2001, at 4 p.m. at the Kelley’s house in Absarokee. Memorials should be sent to the Beartooth Nature Center in Red Lodge.

Published on Monday, August 20, 2001.Last modified on 8/20/2001 at 12:50 am

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Gift of Life, Revisited...

In honor of my mom, who died 6 years ago today, and Cousin Dale who died June 3 of this year, I donated a double unit of red blood cells today.

In a traditional blood donation, donors give whole blood—which consists of red cells, plasma and platelets. With the automated process called double red cell donation, donors can give just red cells—but two units of red cells—and that’s the component of blood that is in the greatest demand.

I know I've said it before, and I am not one to harp (OK, my son might disagree) but please find out if you are eligible to give blood products and if you are (around 60% of the population IS and of that 60%, only 5% actually donate) please schedule an appointment to donate.

You can give platelets twice a week, up to 24 times per year, plasma 12 times per year, whole blood every 56 days and a double unit of red cells every 120 days. It's painless and only takes a little while. It is estimated that 60 percent of the population will need blood or blood components sometime during their lives. That someone could easily be you or someone you love.

You might even get a t-shirt like this for your efforts!

After my donation, the phlebotomist gave me the standard post-donation lecture. Wear the bandage for four hours (yeah right), no heavy lifting, drink plenty of fluids, make your next meal a big one and no vigorous exercise for 24 hours. What? I didn't remember THAT from before.

Being a stubborn Norwegian, I decided that not all of the rules applied to me and headed off towards home on my beautiful new bicycle. About a quarter of the way there, I was feeling a bit wobbly. About half way home I was light headed. As I approached the street where I live I was bobbing and weaving all over the place. I'm sure glad they didn't arrest me for D.U.I.B.D. (Driving Under the Influence of Blood Donation).

I don't think THAT would look good on my record.

Monday, August 13, 2007


This is a rough time of year for me. Mom died in my arms on the 15th of August, 2001, 5 days before her 75th birthday. The doctor told her they couldn't do anything for her cancer and had given her 6 weeks to 2 months to live. An hour later she was gone.

It took us a year to spread her ashes. The family gathered at the place where she was raised and her brother Nels opened the lid and she sailed away on a gentle mountain breeze.

I miss her every day. When the phone rings the first thought that comes to mind is that it is her calling to see how my day went or tell me something cute the dog did.

When I see a flock of birds landing on the lawn, I think of the joy that they brought her.

Fall, her favorite season, is now my favorite too because it reminds me of her.

I don't suppose the ache of missing her and her wise counsel will ever truly go away.

I guess that is her legacy.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Because it's all about me...

You've all seen the before pictures. My lovely feet, covered in dirt from a day of yard work. A productive day, I must say, but it did take a toll on my feet, which weren't very lovely to begin with.

After looking at the photo (above) for a short while (it's all my stomach could take) I decided to take a cue from Sherry and treat myself to a little spa time. I had my hair done and had a (heavenly) pedicure and manicure.

I've had quite a bit of spa time in the last several months because my wonderful and most splendid son spoiled me rotten while I was with him in Denver taking care of Dale. He paid for two facials, leg waxing (I'm not sure his motives were pure on that "present"), a couple of haircuts and 2 pedicures. Am I a lucky mom or what?

I've become somewhat accustomed to being doted on, so I decided to pamper myself a bit. And since I've been a little short of blogging time lately, I decided to document the process photographically and share it with you all.

Disclaimer: I will not be responsible for any psychological dam
age that may be caused by viewing the following photos.

Well I'll be dipped in wax! Ha ha!! It was hot, hot, hot, but it felt really really good!

Especially when she took it off!

And there you have it, the final product...the end result. The color on my toenails, by the way, is called Tequila Sunset. Isn't it beautiful (the polish, certainly NOT the toes)?

I have a busy weekend ahead. It's our annual car show and we will be bustin' our tails putting it on. It's a great time, though, and one I've been looking forward to for quite some time. Rest assured, there will be pictures.

By the way, this is the car we will be driving this weekend.

It's a 1938 Chevy 2-door sedan.

Isn't it a suhweeeeet ride?

I hope you all have as fantastic a weekend as I plan on having!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

My new best friend

There were several reasons that made me take the 200 mile drive to Billings today.

My cousins were having a bit of trouble and I was able to help them out of their dilemma. If spending those months with
Dale taught me anything, it is that the people you love are what matter most in this world. It's a long-standing family tradition to lend a hand to those in need and I was able to do that today and it felt DAMNED GOOD!

Another reason I went to "town" was to pick up kitty litter, cat food and a new stash of cat toys. The poor darlings had lost or damaged all of their cat soccer balls and had resorted to fetching their stuffed toys and I certainly couldn't expect them to keep doing that, now could I? I spent a small fortune replenishing their stock.

I also picked up a couple of toys that resemble carpenter's tape measures with a twist. Instead of the little pull tab on the end, there's a little mouse stuffed with catnip on the end. You can imagine what the little darlings do when it is fully extended and then retracted, can't you? I'll try to get a picture to post later on, right now they are all catnipped out and snoring on the couch, bed and chaise lounge. As a matter of fact, I think one of them is in the bathroom sink (again).

After spending a truly obscene amount of money on others, I did spend a few shekels on myself. After trying on every single pair of dollar store reading glasses, I picked out the pair that made the kid cousins laugh the least.

At the big box store I bought a pair of shorts in a size I haven't been able to wiggle into in years! Like I said before, about 4 or 5 more bouts of the flu and I'll be in perfect shape!

I also bought one more item. After yesterday's marathon bike ride on the fantastic new blue bicycle, my poor Norwegian bum was feeling mighty abused. I might be fluffy, but not a whole lot of that fluff is in the area that makes contact with a bicycle seat.

So please, without further ado, meet my new best friend!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Oh the joys of dirty (ugly) feet...

I am so over the flu!

This morning I got up (shocker, I know) went outside and mowed the lawn, pulled weeds and removed a pickup load of junk from the backyard. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the gnats were stinging. OK, so it wasn't perfect, but it truly was a stellar morning.

I came back in the house, had a bottle of water, played with the cats and then set off for downtown to buy the new bike I've had my eye on for a couple of weeks. I purchased said bike, rode all around town and then headed home. I could feel the sun on my shoulders, the wind in my hair (I know, next time I'll wear a helmet) and nearly everyone I saw waved and smiled.

I returned home feeling all warm and fuzzy and came into the house to play with the cats some more and figure out my next project. I was in the bathroom brushing the tangles out of my hair when I noticed that I had on a thin white shirt and a bright blue bra. I wondered for a moment if perhaps people weren't really waving at me so much as pointing out my very obvious fashion faux pas.

No wonder my roommate and co-workers keep threatening to nominate me to be on What Not to Wear.

Friday, August 03, 2007

On the mend

I am back on solid food! Life is good! I can't believe how wonderful a bowl of bran flakes tastes (please humor me, I'm old you know).

The good news is I am down 8 pounds since Sunday, the bad news is I probably just gained it all back by eating afore-mentioned bowl of bran cereal.

The way I've got it figured I'm just 3 or 4 bouts of the flu away from my idea weight.

Thank you all for your loving comments in the last several days. They saw me through some dark times and I love you all.

Have a fantastic weekend, my dears. Be well and hug the ones you love close.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Did anyone get the license plate number of the truck that hit me?

I've had many nice comments and a few concerned emails in the last couple of days, and now that I'm able to lift my head, I thought I'd update you. I don't have anything deadly or life-threatening, just a case of the summer-time flu (which I can assure you sounds a lot more glamorous than it is).

For the last several days I've not been able to keep anything down, including water, but today I had a breakthrough! Not only was I able to drink water, but I ate a peppermint lifesaver too! Woohoo, I'm so on the mend.

In better news, my diet effort is going better than ever. Another month or two of this and I'll look like I did in high school!

Hugs to all my favorite people (from afar so's I don't infect you).