Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Priorities

My Goodness. How do you arrange your life so you get all the fragmented parts to come together? I can't. I have to prioritize and the left-overs fall by the wayside.

My number one priority is my 5 mile walk every day. I walk with Cody in the doggie park in the rolling hills of the lower part of the mountains. There is a bonus. Cody and I can drink the pure natural well water from a pump. It's so wonderfully cold after a hot walk.

The air is free of carbon residue and breathing is a pleasure.

Marilyn is back in San Diego after an eventful summer's tour with the Gypsy Wagon. Her bed here, is stripped and sheets in the laundry. I miss the pleasant days we had together but we have our own lives tugging at our hemlines. And there is next summer to look forward to.

The 2nd priority is Cody's dog food.
She was out of the stew and I had to cook a huge batch for the freezer.


My 3rd priority is getting choreography and dance lessons together for a Country Two-Step class.

Not my favorite dance (by far) but this is Montana and that is what people want, so ....... far be it for me to push "ballroom" on them. (And a quick, quick ..... slow, slow) I'll take videos at the 1st lesson and at the 6th and show you the improvement.

This takes up all my time. Not much left for anything else. How are you doing with your priorities?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Energy Bars

Time flies like a kite in the brilliant sunlight. My life-long friend Marilyn, came and left and we did only a fraction of the things we had planned. Pictured is Marilyn's transportation from San Diego. She's very athletic for an old broad of 73. She brings her bike because she is training for another triathalon.

We did get a 4 -5 mile walk, every morning. She ran, I walked. We'd get up early, have our green drink and grab some yummy energy bars for our A.M. trek. We try to eat 80% raw and here is the recipe for the raw energy bars.

Raw Organic Energy Bars
(Entertaining video follows...Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk)

3/4 C. almonds, remove skins, soak at least 1 hr., drain.
1 C. dates, pitted, soak at least 1 hr., drain and save soak water.
1/4 C sunflower seeds, soak at least 1 hr, drain.
1/2 C Raisins, soak at least 1 hr., drain.
1/4 C. goji berries, soak at least 1 hr., drain.
2 Tb flax seeds with 1 tb. water, soak 1 hr.
1/4 C. raw cacao
powder or nibs.
1/4 C Tahini
1 tsp. chorella

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1. chop dates and almonds into small chunks in a food processor.

2. In a large bowl, add the date/almond mixture, drained sunflower seeds, drained goji berries, drained raisins, flax seed, cacao, tahini, chlorella, cinnamon and mix together. Add a little of date soak water if needed for moisture.

3. Divide mixture into 3 sections and flatten to 1/2 inch on a dehydrator tray lined with Telflex. Set at 110 deg and dehydrate 12-15 hours.

4. At half way point, remove plastic liner and flip the large patties. Cut into bar size and finish dehydrating until they are crisp on outside and soft chewy and moist on inside.

If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use the Essene method. Just set them in the sun all day. Flip at half way point. Just as delicious.


Marilyn and I made a pathetic video of us making the Energy Bars. Larry and Mo... we forgot Curly. We probably mixed him into the energy bars. Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk.

( We forgot to give credit to Terry of "My Journey With Candida" for the beautiful raw food aprons. Thank you Terry. We got nervous and forgot half of what we wanted to say. We love you, Terry)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Friendship

Yeah..... Marilyn is on her way. She's driving from Minneapolis.

If you've followed me for a while, you would have heard of Marilyn. We've been friends for 51 years. We talk on the phone nearly every day and our lives are more connected than if we were related. We share in each others family and I am godmother for her children. Marilyn is 73 and I am 81. (She is the one standing in the picture ...... taken last year).

I hope to remember to take more pictures while she's here. Terry from My Journey With Candida sent us gorgeous aprons for our raw food preparation. Thank you Terry. (They are a raw food pattern). We try to eat 80/20 .............80 % raw and 20 % cooked. It seems to work for us as Marilyn does triathalons and I do.....(hummm what do I do?) I guess I still dance. Oh, I have a new exercise ...... the athletic hula hoop. It's thicker and weighs 5 lb. I'll post on it later. Fun.... too.

We laugh and laugh with lots of reminiscing. Do you have a best friend? If you don't, go out and find one. Hey, they last a life time. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Cold

Are some bloggy friends still suffering with the heat? I ran across this short video (1 min.) that Cody and I made last winter. Song is by Granddaughter, Ashly. It'll cool you off and give you a little preview of what's to come..... well, for some of you.


P.S If you need more cooling off, check out Chuck's Apocalypse Now .

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ah Chow

When I ran the B & B at the ranch, each bedroom had the name of one of Helena's unsung heros. The Ah Chow room showed a breath-taking view of the mountains and you could catch a glimpse of the "Gates of the Mountains" on the Missouri River where Lewis and Clark came through.

Vigilantes Were Alive in Helena

Ah Chow, a Chinese immigrant, drove a logging wagon in Helena when the city was still in it's infancy. It was the period between the lawless rough-shod mining camps and strict laws that bind a city together.

John Bitzner, a miner, on his nightly round of saloon-hopping , passed Ah Chow's house and caught a glimpse of Jasmine, Ah Chow's beautiful wife. Driven by drunken lust, Bitzner forced his way into Ah Chow's house and tried to take advantage of her. Although Ah Chow's shooting arm was in a sling from a logging accident, he tried to ward off his wife's assailant. Bitzner grabbed Ah Chow's gun from a wall hook and as the struggle ensued, Bitzner was shot.

Bitzner fled from the house leaving a trail of blood as he dragged himself to the Kiyus Saloon. There, with plenty of listeners, he told his story of twisted lies that portrayed Ah Chow as the culprit who deliberatly shot him. Bitzner died in the sloon and immediately the Vigilantes were on their horses hunting down Ah Chow in the subzero February weather. Word went out to the Chinese community that it meant death to anyone who gave Ah Chow shelter. He was easily captured and the Vigilantes did their dastardly deed.

In as much as this ends in a tragedy, the focus of the story is on the love between Ah Chow and his wife. Jasmine was helpless as the Vigilantes dragged him off to the hanging tree but she remained by his body long after the town folk had gone back into their warm cabins. Shivering beneath her tattered shawl, Jasmine kept her long vigil for the man who gave his life protecting "her honor."
I researched all my stories at the Historical Society where I had access to the original yellowed, fragile papers. The ranch wasn't exactly location, location, location so all guests got their information from my website. There, I always described the rooms and had pictures so guests could ask for a specific room. Yes, it was work but meeting many wonderful people was a joy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Room

After the family scattered, I turned the farmhouse at the ranch into a Bed and Breakfast. Each bedroom had a name of an unsung hero of the Helena area. One room was named, "Chicago Joe."

Who Sez Lust Don't Pay?

Chicago Joe could have more accurately had the nickname, "Irish Mary." At least this name would have given a hint to her gender and a reason for the thick Irish brogue. But "Chicago Joe" it was, a nickname that needed no explanation in early Helena history.

Mary Josephine Airey left Ireland when when she was 14 and found her way to the seamy side of Chicago. The Civil War was raging to the East and South but in Chicago, it was "business as usual" for the prostitutes, the soiled doves, the ladies of the evening. Mary Josephine took the name "Joe" and soon learned the subtle manners of the oldest profession of women.

With youth, good looks and and indomitable will to survive, Joe learned her trade in the big city, then took her satchel of money and headed to the Western mining camps. Helena, one of the bawdiest, fastest-growing mining camp in the West was a mecca of opportunity for Chicago Joe.

She invested in real estate, hurdy gurdy houses, saloons, brothels and variety theaters. Joe ruled as queen of the underworld for more than 30 years, at a time when prostitutes owned the greater percentage of main street real estate. She held politicians and bankers in her pocket ...... all the time never having learned to read or write her name.

No woman had ever been arrested for prostitution before 1886. Prostitution WAS respectability. Money hold power. A bank clerk earned $125 a month while a "lady of the evening" earned an average $233 a month.

As the railroads increased and brought families, Helena bowed to tighter legislation and soon the Madam establishments were pushed off Main Street. Cornered into obscurity with "pimps" for protection, prostitution descended from it's "glory days" into it's present state of degradation .............. BUT the memory of Chicago Joe lives on.
The memory especially lived on in the cheerful name-sake room, up in the mountains, of Birdseye Bed and Breakfast. After breakfast, the guests (usually history buffs) asked me to sit with them over coffee and tell stories of the room names. It kept me from doing my work but I loved being a "story teller."

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Walk

A doggie park is the scene of my five-mile morning walk. It's gentle switchbacks, by no means menacing, can still provide a challenge to an elderly person. Such was the scene I encountered today.

The white-haired older couple and their yellow lab started out at the trail head. We exchanged "good morning" pleasantries, as is the habit when meeting other walkers. I remember thinking, "What a sweet older couple," as we headed out on opposite trails.

On my 2nd lapse, I met the older woman far ahead of the man who was standing on one of the steeper climbs. The woman's sweet demeaner had been replaced with acrid annoyance as she would walk a few steps and look back with an icy glare at the old man. Immediately I got the picture, she resented the fact that he couldn't keep up with her. When I reached the man, he was pale and very still. I could almost hear his racing heartbeats. I smiled and said "Hello again," but he remained breathlessly silent.

As I put distance between us and saw the woman moving still farther ahead, I remember thinking, "This park is really too much for that old man. They should go to a flatter park." My thoughts raced on, scooping out the whole picture. Women that age rarely ever worked, but were free to enjoy their clubs and social life while the husband took on the work burden to provide a comfortable home for the family. Probably chained to an office job that shouted out a life-time of nutritionally poor lunches, lack of exercise and loads of stress, it all took it's toll on the man's health.

All too often women that age forget to honor the man who provided them with a comfortable life. What would it have cost her to wait with her husband and encourage him as he regained his breath. Oh well, it was their pattern of life and I tried not to think about it.

I did think about the glorious mountain air and how lucky we were to live in this magical spot in the universe. And finally, I thought about the cool drink of water I would have from the pump at the trail's end.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Retrograde

Tomorrow, Aug 2, Mercury goes retrograde.

It doesn't really slam on the brakes, step on the clutch (no one does that anymore) jam it in reverse and full steam backwards.

What is really happening, earth is moving faster than Mercury so as we look back over our shoulder (on earth) to see it, it appears to be going slower.

What Does This Mean?

It's OK to window shop but don't buy.

Anything pertaining to communications, contracts or writing is better put aside until August 26 when Mercury again becomes direct.

But There is a Good Flip Side

Even though it's a bad time to begin new projects, it's a marvelous time to go back and pick up the loose threads of old projects you left behind. The buzz word is RE. Any word beginning with re.... restore, replace, rewrite, reschedule, return, redecorate, or repair, etc. is the direction to take. Even without realizing Mercury was about to turn retro, I had already begun to clean out closets and have piles to take to the thrift store.

I take my Mercury Retrogrades very seriously. I've sold quite a few houses in my life time and when I write up the contract, I always include that I will NOT accept contracts during XXXX time, while Mercury is Retrograde. A realtor may think I'm crazy, but trust me, you wouldn't get a good contract at that time, anyway.

So, I'm thinking of a few repairs to the house, tune up the car, rewrite some old stories, dig out that sweater I'm knitting. It's far better not to quibble with the stars. They win out every time.