Words of wisdom

Words of wisdom

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Normal Week - sorta.

It has been very busy here at YVI this week. We have had every RV site filled every night, hosted a huge family reunion that took every cabin and motel room this weekend, and with the huge, motorcycle rally at Sturgis this coming weekend, it isn't likely to slow down soon.

With yesterday off, our very cute, young and blond bartender and I hoped in my Jeep and decided to just 'get away' for the day, We headed to Red Lodge for their "Art in the Beartooth" annual art fair, do a little shopping and have a good lunch.

Red Lodge is an hour and a half drive straight north, about 30 miles into Montana. We parallel the Beartooth Mountain range the entire trip up, but the land is flat and high desert with Yellowstone River twisting and turning alongside the highway.

The little town was crammed with people - bikers, those attending the antique auto show, those there for the art fair, and those just enjoying an absolutely beautiful day. Mandy and I wandered around town, enjoyed the art, had a great lunch and did a little shopping. On the way home I stopped here and there to take pictures and exactly as we crossed the MT/WY border, my right rear passenger tire exploded! (see pic)

We got the jack and various wrenches out and had gotten the lug nuts off the tire. I was lying on the ground, trying to figure out where the jack got placed under the car, while Mandy (cute, young, blond Mandy in a tiny little white dress) walked over the the edge of the highway and...the nicest young man slammed on his breaks and said "Mam, do you need some help?"

Josh had the spare off and the tire changed within 10 minutes. Turned out he was a 'real rodeo cowboy' (he had real spurs on his boots), rode the broncs every night at the Cody Rodeo and was from just outside Raleigh, NC. Wouldn't take a cent for his help but did find out when next Mandy was tending bar and something tells me we'll see him out at YVI soon!

Got home safe and sound and tomorrow will go into town and price tires. I hate unexpected expenses - they are always expensive! Today, Sunday, I've done laundry, hooked up the hoses and washed not only the Jeep but gave Winnie a bath! She really need one after being parked in this dusty, dirty desert for the past 2 1/2 months. Then I too took a long shower and now plan to just sit, read a good book and relax the rest of the afternoon.

For those who asked, Cody has totally recovered from being de-clawed the first of the week. My body and the furniture will now last a lot longer and not be covered with scratches and fabric pulls.

Until next time....take care of each other.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ah Chooooooo

I want to publicly thank my cousin Rita for giving me her cold. I returned from Denver with just a sniffle and during the past week it bloomed into the first, full-fledged cold I've had in at least 5 years.

Lots of Kleenex, runny nose and watering eyes, chest congestion and loud sneezing made me the most perfect person to great guests as they arrived at YVI for vacation. I worked my 7 hours, grabbed a bowl of soup as I walked through the kitchen on my way back to Winnie and immediately went back to bed.

Halfway through the week The Gleason's arrived from MN to spend 4 days seeing the West for the very first time. Harv & Ginny were our wonderful neighbors for many years and their boys and mine were good friends. After spending their first full day in Cody 'doing' all 5 museums that encompass the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, taking the Trolley Tour of Cody, enjoying a great lunch on the porch of the Irma, walking around town doing a little window-shopping, I headed back to YVI while they took in the Gunslinger's Shoot-out. Yesterday we 'did the Park.'

Since I had purposely left the back seat of my Jeep in MN to allow for packing lots of 'stuff'', I jerry-rigged a metal lawn chair with bungie cords to where the regular Jeep seat would have been, Harv climbed in and away we went.

As you can see from the pictures, the snow has melted , Spring and an abundance of wildflowers have come to Yellowstone. Though you can still see massive damage from the '89 fire, under the charred tree trunks green grass grows, small, new seedling pines, and now blue, yellow and pink wildflowers have taken root to re-nourish and continue replenishing the Park.

On the way to Old Faithful, which continues to erupt every 90 minutes to the pleasure of 100's of viewers each day, a stately elk decided to cross the highway directly in front of my Jeep. It was almost like he planned his crossing in front of all the cars knowing there was a stop sign there and we would all stop just for him.

We did the entire South Loop, all 205 miles. At the end of a 14-hour day and a very nice dinner at the Bill Cody Ranch we got back to YVI where I collapsed and Harv and Ginny headed into Cody and the Irma. Today they went off to do Beartooth Pass and Red Lodge and I did laundry and defrosted the fridge! Tomorrow they head from The Tetons and Jackson while I try and get rid of this damn cold!

And now a few passing thoughts I don't think I've shared with you all....Wyoming smells. It has this very distinct smell of oranges. Seriously. You drive along the highway or walk along a sidewalk and you smell only what I can describe as oranges. I asked a bunch of locals what it was and they hadn't a clue. I remember the mock-orange bushes we had planted below our windows at our house in MN and that's all I could think of but I couldn't find them here. So I kept sniffing and one day, walking by one of the 100 of Russian olive trees that grown here I stopped, rubbed the leaves together and....oranges! Mystery solved.

A varied week coming up. Besides work, Cody is getting de-clawed and I get a haircut. Saturday is 'Art in the Beartooth' in Red Lodge and I've made reservations to attend the big art fair in Jackson mid-August which will take me through The Tetons.

Life continues and I've sill got to attend a rodeo and drive the Oh My God! highway before my time in the West is over. Until next time...take care of each other.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rocky Mountain High!

Spending 5 days in Denver, the 'mile-high,' city was so much fun! My dear cousin Rita and her wonderful hubby, Denny, their 3 dogs,

1 cat and 1 grand-dog who they were baby-sitting, welcomed me to their lovely
home where I was wined, dined and shopped-till-I-dropped.

I was picked up from the airport and whisked to a great mom & pop Greek restaurant that had fabulous food and great service. The next day was my TJ Maxx fix day. How I miss that store! Even if I don' buy a thing, the thought of maybe finding a really great buy is always within the the realm of possibilities within the confines of that store.

The next day Rita, her lovely daughter Averial and I met my old Danville High School friend Mary Volburn, who lives in Colorado Springs, for a great, long, talkie lunch. Afterwards we ladies 'hit the Mall' and when Ed called, Mary and I met his son, brother, sister and spouse at a local pub and shared lots of stories about our hometown and 'do you remember' remembrances. It was nice to see Ed smile and enjoy himself. (Mary had dated Ed in high school and neither knew the other lived in the Denver area).

On Sunday Rita, Denny and only 3 of the dogs (Mini Pincher, Wheaten Terrier and German short hair) piled in their car and headed for Estes Park and a tour of Rocky Mountain National Park. We had a 'perfect weather day' and a great time. Estes Park was crammed full of tourists but we didn't care. Denny dog-sat while Rita and I shopped, ordered and ate a huge pizza, then took turns watching the dogs so Denny could eat.

Once in the park, we took Trail Ridge, the original dirt and gravel road, up and over the high mountain Rockies. Beautiful views and lots of elk and moose, which all 3 dogs tried desperately to jump out of the car and get. I found that standing up on the front seat, shooting pictures out of the sunroof was easier than trying to open the door and keep the dogs in! As you can see, lots of beautiful vistas!

Flew back to Billings on Monday, met a friend in Red Lodge for a fantastic dinner and great conversation and got back to Cody about 9:30 p.m., just in time to have missed a huge storm that included massive amounts of wind, rain and hail. Winnie made it through without damage and stayed nice and dry inside.

Back to work on Tuesday and now a nice weekend. Spent today giving Winnie a good cleaning, inside and out; unplugged and unhooked and drove all of 100 feet over to the propane tank and fill-up so I could continue having hot water and a stove to cook on. Sunday is grocery and museum day and Monday I'm going to play golf for the first time since I arrived - yeah!

So until next time...take care of each other.


PS - Got home to an email that Ed and his brother Con are both on their way to Afghanistan. They will one of the first group of non-combatants sent there to oversee and build bases for our troupes. Son Eddie will also be there after the first of the year. Like his dad, he's a graduate of the Air Force Academy and now a fighter pilot presently stationed in England. Danville boys do get around. Pray for their safe return.