Sunday, February 27, 2011

Something Else I Hope to Do

As we play, sun and recreate in the beautiful place called Mazatlan, there is always something tugging at my heart.  The poorest of the poor.  Mazatlan has the poor just like any other place, and I have been researching the ministries of the area to see where we could possible give back to this wonderful city.  I found the Vinyard Ministries that operates in the Golden Zone-the tourist area.  Here is a video of some of what they do, and a small taste of the extreme poverty of these people.

Three times a week, the group travels out to the dump to bring food and water to the people digging through the garbage in hopes of finding something worth selling.  They also have several ministries for the children.  I am always finding bargains, and last fall I picked up a couple of bags of school supplies that I thought I would see if they need.  I just e-mailed the church and we will see where that goes.  If you are interested in finding out more about this ministry their website is here. I hope there is more I can do when I get there-a money donation for sure, but more than that, hopefully.

I wish that I could snap my fingers and everybody in the world would be happy, fed, healthy and have a chance to know Jesus, but I think He wants us to be the workers that make that dream come true!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

From Pug to Lab

The kids found a new dog.  It's a Chocolate Lab/Golden Retriever cross.  His name is Brody and he's really good to the little kids.  That's quite a change from a pug!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Needles are Still Clicking!

I've still been knitting.  I decided I needed a really wide, long scarf to wind around my head during these nasty cold days.  We were in Walmart and I grabbed a couple of skeins of Red Heart (I know, but this one is pretty!).

I started out with this:

But I decided it wasn't wide enough so I ripped it out.  This is better:

Then I knitted, and knitted, and....well you know!  I ended up with a scarf about 68 inches long.  I have test-driven it many times this week and I think it was a good move in my part.  My other small fleece scarf just wasn't cutting it.  Now I'm starting leg warmers so when I go out and start my car after a closing shift at work my legs won't freeze.

I look a little loopy in this picture, but maybe it was my red nose.  I have yet ANOTHER cold!

All I did was cast on a bunch of stitches on #9 (US) needles in a multiple of four, and do a checkerboard pattern-K4, P4; next row P4, K4; repeat for two more rows then reverse the order.  It took about 8 ounces of knitting worsted.

Then my friend Lera sent me this pattern she had featured on her blog.  When I commented how much I loved it she e-mailed it to me-wasn't that sweet?!  I had to make one right away and I'm hooked (literally-it's crocheted).  This will go to a certain little girl, but I'm not sure if I'll give it to her now or wait til her birthday in April.  I'll be making more.

Isn't it just fetching?  Gracie will absolutely love it.  It came with instructions for ages newborn to six years so the possibilities are endless!

On a sad note, the fisherman that was lost when his truck went through the ice was found dead a couple of days ago.  My prayers are with his family.

Here's an eagle picture hubby took on his last fishing trip:

Oh, and I got sort of a promotion at work.  I will be a core associate in the Linens department.  The department manager actually approached me about the job, and after thinking about it and being reassured by her that I can get time off for my trips I took it.  I got a nice raise and my hours will be set-no Sundays and a mix of day and evenings.  I will have a 3-day weekend every other week.  Can't believe my luck-plus now I can fatten up my IRA-haven't put much in there for a while.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What's Happening Here

Well, let's see....  We have a train wreck, a two-day blizzard, and two trucks submerged in Canyon Ferry lake.  Just another day in Paradise!

17 cars derailed, with 14 cars completely turned over.  It happened at midnight Saturday and by midnight last night they were running again.  They had to replace a mile or two of track.  They probably worked fast to hurry up and get out of the cold!

And because of a two-week thaw, the ice on Canyon Ferry Lake was getting iffy, but a couple of folks decided to try it anyway,  One truck was recovered, one is still at the bottom of the lake, two people were rescued, and one is still missing.  The authorities have closed the lake to vehicles, Hubby and his brother are fishing near there, but they wouldn't dream of driving a pickup out on the ice now anyway.

The sun has finally come out, but it was a very frigid weekend.  The wind was blowing so hard you couldn't stand up and it brought the wind chill factor down to well below zero.  It was almost impossible to keep up with the shoveling.

But this week won't be quite so bad, hopefully.  Spring WILL come, even if it happens in July!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Of Course They're Really Family

A sweet member of my son's family passed away tonight.  Their four-year-old Pug, Daisy Mae, died after having seizures for the last week or so.  She was surrounded by four weeping children and their very sad parents. 

Millie found Daisy on Craigslist a couple of years ago, and couldn't believe her luck since they have always wanted a Pug.  Plus she was free.  She slid right into place in the family, stealing their hearts and attaching herself firmly to Isaac.  When Isaac would get home from school, she would jump into his lap, lean her back against his chest and purr-at least that's just what it sounded like!  She was his dog. 

Might not ever find out what caused her seizures and death, but there is sure an open spot in the family tonight.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wine With Ice Cubes

Myrna was a sweet, slightly odd little lady.  She was brought here from California in the late 70's by her retired military husband.  He passed away, and she finished raising their two daughters.  By the time she was widowed, there was no one left in California and she loved it here, so she stayed.

She tended bar, she waited tables, she did whatever it took to supplement her husband's military pension.  Along the way she gained many, many friends.  I first got to know her when she was managing the local American Legion club and I waitressed at a small cafe she frequented.  We immediately clicked and had the best conversations.

Years went by-in 2002 she was diagnosed with colon cancer.  Miraculously, even though the cancer was bad, she went into remission and recovered.  She took up her routine again, by this time she was waitressing at a small restaurant by day, and helping out at a couple of bars at night.  Most evenings you could find her at Sir Scott's Oasis, sitting at the bar, sipping red wine with ice cubes in it, and helping out a bit here and there.  Her youngest daughter waitressed there and I think she was glad her mom was close by so she could keep an eye on her.

She loved to go to funerals.  She knew people from Three Forks to Livingston and thought nothing of driving 50-60 miles to attend the funeral of someone she had known.  She preferred to go by herself-she told me she wanted to be able to come and go as she wanted, not relying on her ride to dictate when and where.  At the restaurant she worked at during the day, she set herself up at the end of the counter with her coffee and newspapers.  She would sit and visit with whoever was seated next to her, periodically getting up to make milkshakes, clear tables, and pour coffee.  The funny part about her job there was that she had quit in 2000 but still showed up every day, helping out the waitresses totally without pay.  She rarely even accepted a tip, only when one of the waitresses would insist on it.  She just needed something to do.  When she felt her job was finished, she would gather up her papers, catalogs, and her fuzzy scarf and slip quietly out of the cafe.  We joked that she was just a little angel, slipping in and out as was needed.  She discovered those rocker-soled shoes, the ones that are supposed to slim your legs, and collected several pairs.  Pretty soon that was all she wore, tottering around town spreading her own quiet brand of warmth.

Around the first of November, she had a disagreement with the cafe owner and quit showing up.  I started losing track of her-sometimes I would see her green Honda parked in front of the local convenience store.  She would buy a coffee and sit at the Subway, visiting with anyone who happened by.  I joined her a few times, but then her trips there became rather infrequent.  Then I really lost track when I went to work again.  I kept looking for that Honda but to no avail. 

On Christmas Eve day, I was in the local grocery store.  I heard my name called and when I turned it was Myrna's younger daughter Michelle.  She told me her mom had had surgery two weeks before and had just gotten home from the hospital.  She said Myrna wanted to talk to me and gave me her phone number.  I went right home and called her.  Neither said the "C" word, neither talked about a prognosis, but in my heart I knew we were going to lose her.  She asked me not to visit quite yet-she got too tired and wanted to regain her strength.

Time rolled by-6 weeks came and went like lightening.  I kept thinking of her and looking for her car, hoping she had recovered enough to get out and about.  The grapevine said she was dying.  I decided that next week I was going to ignore her no-visit request and go see her.

Yesterday morning I opened the paper and there was her obituary.  She had died 5 days before and few of us knew.  Tears blinded me, and I sat there thinking about my loss-our loss.  A town's loss.  The loss of a gentle spirit who never asked for acclaim, never craved the spotlight.  An extremely private person.  She was just Myrna.  Myrna with her wine and her shoes and her fuzzy scarf-laughing at something somebody said.  Listening to all the stories, not judging-just listening.  She was mom to countless young people who didn't have loving parents, but they knew they could count on Myrna to listen.

There's a great big hole here in Manhattan, Montana now.  I know she loved her Jesus and she is with Him now, but doggone it-we weren't finished with her yet.

Get the coffee on, Myrna-I'll take the stool next to yours someday.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Fisherman

One benefit of the cold weather is a nice thick layer of ice on the lakes.  Stan was able to go fishing three times this week, and pulled in quite a catch.  He went twice with a young man from church, and once with his best friend.  Saturday he and his friend were extremely late because they almost had their limits and were trying for just that one last fish.

He loves nothing better than to stand out on a frozen lake waiting for the poles to bounce.

Friday, February 4, 2011

What the........

Manhattan, Montana today:

 Mazatlan, Mexico, at the same time:

Just what gives?  I saw a physicist on the news yesterday who said the mild winters in the north, all the snow in the east, and the cold temps in Mexico are because of global warming.  Something about air currents meeting moisture and putting cold air where there usually isn't any and warm air where it's usually cold.  OK.

The problem for the poor people in the south is they don't have heaters, maybe not even windows or doors.  I have all that, just a cranky hot water heater that won't put out hot water when the boiler is busy heating the house.  (Our heat and hot water come from the same boiler)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mexico Dreamin'

Very excited that it might get up to 30 F today, but for right now:

Hubs went ice fishing with a young man from church-hope they enjoy the day and catch lots of trout.  I'm not wild about trout, neither is Stan, but he cleans them, sticks them in the freezer, and when he has a lot, he brines and smokes them.  Then he gives them away.  Don't like them smoked, either!  I'm just waiting for Mahi Mahi and fresh shrimp.  In the meantime I'll eat a lot of good Montana beef.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Shop

I've been knitting again!  I love making these hats, but they are sure hard on my old arthritic fingers!  Doesn't stop me from making them, though!