Friday, August 24, 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

      Winter in Montana can be beautiful and enjoyable but it can also feel overbearing and endless at times. This photo is a perfect combination of all of the above. Sometimes on a frigid snowy day it can be hard to tell where the earth ends and the sky begins.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong

          I’m pretty happy that this week’s photo challenge allows me to use a photo I took quite a while ago and have been holding onto for an opportunity like this. Winter often comes early in Montana and in October 2010, I left work one evening to find this on my car’s windshield

           I thought it was a joke, likely played by my roommate at the time, mocking my interest in younger men. Then I looked around and noticed every single car in the lot had this same ad tucked under a wiper blade.  I’ve never heard anything else about this “business” but I really think that if there is a wrong name for a business, this is it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

That's Not Fair

         Last month, on a hot dry Sunday afternoon, my boyfriend and I went to our county fair at my request. I don't exactly have a reason for wanting to go to the fair other than to take in the sights, sounds and smells. It's also a great excuse to eat terrible food and attempt win a prize that you have no need for. I enjoy the fair atmosphere mostly because it reminds me of all the fairs I went to in my early teen years in Pennsylvania, when it was one of the few times I was allowed to roam around unattended with my friends.
        Reggie and I shuffled around the dusty fairgrounds alternating an exchange of "What do you want to do?" "I don't care, what do you want to do?" We ate corn dogs, brats and ice cream. Then, as we got to the farthest most end of the midway, there was a big colorful exhibit with flapping banners and a recorded carnival barker calling everyone to see the "great freaks of the world" and I saw this 

       There is a part of me that is perpetually immature so I snickered "Hey, I want to see that", not being serious. But my normally squeamish boyfriend was actually quite intrigued by the promise of a demon's skeleton and multiple two headed creatures. I typically have the stronger stomach but am easily scared by creepy things or gory images. I wasn't so sure about this. We paid our $2 a piece and entered through the thick yellow canvas flaps. It actually wasn't scary, as I had feared. There were a few pens holding live animals that had extra legs and some tanks of turtles with two heads but they didn't appear to be suffering. The rest of the exhibit was creatures in formaldehyde or taxidermy mounts to show off their grotesque features. I had made it through and was peering into the last turtle tank when a nicely dressed man in a bowler hat approached us and invited us to join a few other people at a small stage near the tent's exit. He started to speak and I realized "Uh oh, something creepy is about to happen here" and tried to dart for the exit. Reggie squeezed my hand and tried to convince me that it would be fine but as soon as I realized the guy was going to "swallow fire", I hid my face in the back of Reggie's neck and didn't look up until it was over. Apparently he took what looked like giant cotton swabs, lit them on fire and put them in his mouth. To me, that is much creepier than a mutant sheep with six legs. I joined in the polite applause and scooted out of the tent. We made a couple more laps around the fair grounds, I won a stuffed dog by throwing darts at balloons, and then we headed to the parking lot. Fair experience accomplished!
         For me, the fair is about having fun and feeling like you've escaped every day life for just a little while. I'll look forward to the fair when it arrives again next year, but I'll skip the freak show. 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

       Last year, my boyfriend and I went a bit overboard in our excitement to have a large garden. We started planting seeds in early March when it was still cold and snowy. We provided artificial light and tended to the seedings daily. It was a lot of work and we couldn't wait to get them outside. Our intention was to spend Memorial Day weekend transplanting our young plants and establishing our garden, but in typical Montana fashion those three days were gray, rainy and chilly. So what we ended up with were couple hundred small plants covering every flat surface in our home that got direct sunlight until mid June when we were finally past the danger of frost. This photo shows some tomato and corn plants in my laundry room.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

    I didn't fully understand "purple mountain majesties" until I moved to Montana. I live very close to the Bridger Mountain range and even though I see it all the time, I'm constantly amazed by the beauty of the mountains. I took this photo one evening early this year as I was walking in my neighborhood and feeling particularly stunned by the scenery.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Write It Down

          Today I did something that's been on my mental to do list for about a year; I wrote a letter to a friend I've fallen out of touch with. Yes, I wrote an honest to goodness letter by hand. I even had to dig through my desk to find my official writing tablet. It felt good. It reminded me of when I was in high school and moved out of state, my friends and I wrote long letters back and forth for years. Then came email and the internet with all of it's mixed blessings. I'm thankful for social media because I'm in touch with many awesome people I wouldn't know anymore otherwise. But sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the over sharing that occurs on FaceBook and Twitter. Although the recipient of the letter is my friend on FaceBook, I knew a hand written letter was the way to go to properly express my feelings. It's gotten me thinking about who else might appreciate a handwritten note (my mother for sure!).