Monday, April 30, 2007

Under the Covers

Me: The Schwan's man is here. We didn't look at the catalogue.
Him: He's HERE?!

(A few minutes later, after I politely ask "Amos" to come back another time)

Me: Stephan? Where are you?
(I find Stephan hiding in bed under the covers)
Him: I'm here.
Me: Why are you hiding?
Him: I didn't want him to find us.

End of story.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

...on the other side

I took Sad-Dog for a long walk this afternoon. It's beautiful here- 80's, sunny, light breeze. Lots of people were mowing their lawn in the fading sunlight. The smell is undenibly Summer, but it was really weird to smell that smell here in Montana. Grass smells the same no matter where you are I guess. Something about that feels wrong. Summer should smell different when you're 1400 miles away from where you've spent 28 other summers.

Wow, am I really that old?!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Sitting here, I'm trying to type something coherent about work, and how well it's going for both Stephan and me. Something about being very grateful to Fallon Medical Complex for all their support- how successful my participation in their Health Fair was on Wednesday- that I'm seeing at least 3 people per day when I'm over there doing massage, and that I'm just amazed at how well-received my practice is in the Baker/Plevna community.

Unfortunately, none of that is really well-written. There's a dog here, a friend's dog, who is whining. He has severe emotional problems, which we really thought could be mitigated by letting him spend the night at our house while his owner is out of town. Actually, he won't stop crying. He's very cute, with big brown SAD eyes. But he won't shut up. We've considered helping him relax using our last beer... but it's really good beer, and Stephan is telling me that my rum would be a better choice. I'm not quite sure what we're going to do about this. We may just isolate him in the study for the night, or... we'll be putting the phrase, "Hair of the dog" to the test. Mythbusters, we've got one for you!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New recipies

Working at the Assisted Living place has really helped me learn to cook. In fact, my dad had a good suggestion for one of the dishes to be served at our BBQ...

Soft Shell Cicadas

1 cup Worcesterhire sauce
60 freshly emerged 17-year cicadas
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups flour
salt and pepper to season flour
1 cup corn oil or slightly salted butter

Marinate cicadas, alive in a sealed container, in Worcestershire sauce for several hours. (This step may be skipped and you may go directly to the egg step instead.) Dip them, in beaten egg, roll them in the seasoned flour and then gently saute them until golden brown.

4 main dish servings.

If you don't eat them this year, you won't be able to again until 2024. Tastes a little like crickets.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Me: There was a moth in the bathroom and I killed it.

Him: You are a brave warrior princess.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Not found in Websters

Here are ways to use the word "visit" that you may not have heard of before....

-Have you visited your mom lately?

-You should come over for a visit.

-We need to visit about that later.

-He and I will visit about that and get back to you.

-Oh, he's probably out in the parking lot visiting with people.

-Sit down and visit for a while!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Traffic Jam

I was 10 minutes late to an appointment yesterday for a simple reason:

"A fence had broken and cows were wandering about on the highway."

Try to use that one next time Lake Shore Drive is congested and let me know what they say.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Chicken Idea...

... has flown the coop. I mentioned it earlier, but it bears saying again. We learned a few weeks ago that it is illegal to have livestock in town. We, being located one block away from the post office and Main Street, definitely live in town.

The 100 head of cattle that live in town? Those were grandfathered in.

Thanks to everyone who offered their suggestions and condolances about how far away we live from Taco Bell. We really appreciate the concern. Feel free to send any spare Fire Sauce packets you have floating around your glove box.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's not just for salad anymore

"What type of potatoes would you like with that?"

"What types do you have?"

"Steak fries, gems, wedges, home style, waffle, baked, sour cream and onion, and frozen."

"Um, I'll go with steak fries."

"Ok, ranch or ketchup?"

"I didn't order a salad."

"For your fries, ranch or ketchup?"

"Um, ketchup."

"Do you want ranch or ketchup on your burger?"

"Um, ketchup, please. Thanks!"

Monday, April 16, 2007


Sorry for the double post, I've wanted to do this for a while:

From Plevna to the nearest...

...McDonald's = 43.69 miles

...UPS Store = 93.7 miles

...Office Max = 215 miles

...Dairy Queen = 68.1 miles

...Taco Bell = 127 miles

...Wal-mart = 51.4 miles

...gas station = 18.4 miles store (Reynolds) = 19.5 miles = 0.5 miles

This was done in January last year

Last night, we finally found all our tax stuff and started filling out the forms. Luckily, we're set up on TaxACT Online. Keep in mind that this was right after the meat-air incident. And, I swear, it was like doing taxes with Robin Williams.

"Social Security Number..."
"What's so social about it?"

"Did you pay estimated taxes this year?"
"I estimated I paid no taxes because no one paid me any salary."

"Ok, what's the amount in box 1?"
"[amount withheld]"
"Okay, is it the same for boxes 3 and 5?"
"What about box 2?"
"Tell me box 3."
"But number 2 is next."

"Did you get any interest payments from anything?"
"Interested in what?"
"Like from a savings account."
"Ha! Do you think I'm hiding money from you?"
"Do you think I have a savings account?"
"I was just checking."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

At least it wasn't Whisky

Matt (of Matt and Kayle) made amazing steaks last night, and we took some home to eat tonight for dinner. As I was cleaning the kitchen and yelling at Stephan for not eating the califlower, I turned to see him bending over, breathing on the dogs, as they sniffed upwards with drooling mouths.

"What are you doing?"
"WHAT?! I'm not giving them any!"
"You're making them smell your meat-air."

He looked up with a childish grin, mouth full of steak. The dogs turned to look at me too. All three sets of eyes wondering what was wrong with this little indulgance.

"That's it!" I stormed toward the computer.

"You're a snitch. You used to snitch on your brother to your parents and now you're snitching on me to the internet."

"You started it."

"The internet doesn't care who started it."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Going 'Home'

After the 19 hour trip, we declared ourselves 'home'.

But I still had this feeling like I wanted to go home. I saw the house, the couch, the bed, my clothes... I saw the lack of traffic and our rockstar treatment and the kindness of everyone because there are no strangers here. I told Stephan I wasn't entirely happy with being back in Montana.

"Is this the first time you've ever been homesick?"

"No. I mean, I'm not homesick. I don't really miss Chicago. It's loud, crowded, busy, dirty, frustrating..."

"Go to bed. We'll talk about it later."

The feeling was gone the next morning. It was a restless feeling- I wasn't happy in Montana because everything is so different. The pace is different. The store hours are different. There's nowhere for me to buy a telephone-jack splitter here. My family isn't here.

I've known Stephan for 3 years (last week) and I've often heard him talk about a restless feeling. Living in the city makes him antsy, but living in the middle of nowhere rips open his heart. Now that I've signed up for this crazy adventure, I can finally relate to the restlessness. I have mixed feelings about sharing this with him...

But "we're better off for all that we let in."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This will be funny ... ... ... ... Someday

No photos, but how about a timeline? All times are in Mountain Time.

1:00pm - first few attempts to drug cats at mom and dad's house. All fail. We even used Dad's ear irregator to deliver a water and xanax mixture. The vet was called, but was in surgery and did not call back until 3pm.

2:00pm - Gave up on cat meds, started packing the car.

3:00pm - Stephan drives away from Barrington. We decided to travel with un-sedated cats. This decision haunts the rest of the trip.

3:30pm - Anna turns to check on the cats, watches as the black cat urinates on the face, chest and front paws of the white cat, soaking him, and turning him yellow. Stopped at Wal-mart for waterless pet shampoo, odor eliminating spray, hand sanitizer, and caffeine as a result of a cat urine incident. Emptied the car of everything fabric and breathing, deoderized/shampoo'd everything, re-packed with cat access to litter box.

3:50pm - Anna takes back everything bad she's ever said about Wal-mart.

4:00pm - pull over on the side of the road to slam the hood of the car shut.

4:15pm - pull over to once again deoderize/shampoo everything and everyone after second incident of cat urine.

5:00pm - pull over to slam the hood of the car shut.

6:00pm - rest stop to feed/water/exercise dogs and cats.

9:00pm - McDonald's double cheese burgers for everyone!

11:00pm - Anna takes over driving.

5:00am - Cleo the black cat starts to fuss. We pull over at a rest stop just East of Bismarck, ND. Cleo has urinated, deficated and puked inside her crate. She's covered in all of it. Totally ignoring the warning signs, I take her into the women's bathroom and, while holding her in one arm, clean the box using nothing but toilet paper and some water. Seems paper towels are too messy for this rest stop. We shampoo her, inspect her nails (which have broken from scratching the sides of her box), and try to comfort her in the front seat.

5:15am - Stephan realizes that 'Business' 94 is actually 'rural middle-of-nowhere side street unpaved road' 94. Over 5 miles of snow-covered, unpaved 'highway' later, we're back onto I94.

5:30am - It starts snowing in Bismarck. We hear on the radio that we're under a snow advisory, expecting 2"-6" in the next few hours. Stephan is driving.

6:00am - stop to slam the hood shut.

7:00am - Stephan stops for a hotdog. What should have been a 3 hour drive has turned into a nightmare. He's driving 30-40 miles per hour behind any large vehicle he can find to help clear the snow in front of the car.

9:00am - We exit off of I94 in Montana, just a mere 40 miles North of Baker, in Wiboux. The snow continues a bit, but quickly eases up and is replaced with a dense fog that follows us to Baker. Again, a drive that should take 30 minutes takes over 60.

10:00am - We arrive in Baker, merely 19 hours after leaving Barrington.

Me: Stephan, should I add anything to this post?
Him: Make sure to tell people that all doubt about my love for you is finally put to rest. Tell them I'm the best and most patient partner in the history of partners, and that I'm amazing.

Friday, April 6, 2007


Gallon of gas: $2.80

Taillight repair: $325.00

Sack of White Castle's: Priceless

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Of course

We're not in the city for more than 24 hours and we get involved in a 3 car accident. We were stopped completely at a stop sign, then one car drove another one into the passenger side of our car. No one was hurt, it was just a pain. But we ate White Castle's and things are fine.

Otherwise the trip's been nice and uneventful. We're glad to be home, be with family, and relax a bit. Thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers getting us home safely. Blogs will be spotty until we're back home, just so you know. But it's Easter, so get off the computer and hug a family member.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

New house photos

Check them out on Flickr. We're missing a lot of artwork, it's still in the garage. I truly love the colors we picked out.

I'm trying to get everything packed for our road trip out- but since it snowed like crazy last night and this morning (I think something like 4 inches) and now it's melting, only to freeze when the sun goes down, I need to find our emergency gear. Sleeping bags, heavy boots, extra food, etc. Due to an unfortunate flat-tire incident (and the fact that Stephan had to change the tire while the car was on uneven pavement) we now travel everywhere with a pneumatic jack. It's from Sears. It lives in a box that's, oh, something like 4' long by 2' deep and 2' wide. It weighs something like 50 pounds. This, and the spare tire sit in the back of the car at all times. It seriously cuts down on the ability to pack things like shoes, sleeping bags, and, um, dogs.

But yes, the girls are coming with us. They love the car, love driving, love prancing about at gas stations, avoiding broken glass bottles that litter the side yards. It's a good time for everyone. Also, Red loves sitting in the car with her head on the driver's left shoulder, just watching the traffic go by. If you pet her she moves, but if you leave her alone she can sit that way for hours.

Well that explains it!!

Working at the new job, I try to tell people that I really have no cooking experience. Actually, I insist, it's a family joke that I can't cook, so I still have a lot to learn.

After I say all that everyone's first question is, "How long have you been married?"

When I answer them, they just nod, knowingly, and don't say anything else. As if cooking and marriage are somehow related. Is there an Intro to Marriage 101 that I don't know about? A book, like my parents claimed there was for parenting, that gives you recipes and ingredients for kitchen cleansers and laundry solvents?

I went to the library yesterday just to check. I returned a book that Stephan had checked out, and filled out a library card. She gave me a little tour of the facility: the racks of books that were donated and don't have due dates, the shelf of new arrivals, large print and children's section, Westerns, Mysteries, etc. At the end, when I had chosen my book (The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco), she stamped the date and handed it back.

"Do I need to show a card next time?"

"No, just come in. We have your name in the computer now."


"And we have your phone number, so if the book is late we'll just call you."

I know that's true, because Stephan had a few books out late, and they called his cell phone to ask him if he wanted them renewed. They did that on the spot... renewed the books over the phone... after calling him personally to ask him what he wanted to do.

I just can't picture the staff at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago making phone calls when books are overdue. I think they just boot your car.

Monday, April 2, 2007

"There are worse things I could do"

I started laundry at 5:30am. Nice laundromat. Very clean, very safe. Very empty at 5:30am. I'd say there are about 18 washers and 18 dryers.

Half of them, however, are labled as "greasers," and large signs warn that "Anyone caught putting greaser clothes in non-greaser machines will be banned from using the laundromat forever!"

I always thought "greasers" were those guys in the movies who slicked their hair back and used switchblade combs. Or, as my brother pronounced it, "Greez-ers".

It's the oil field guys. Those are greasers, and apparently, they work in the 'patch'. The oil patch. I have SO much left to learn.

Trivia: What does the title of this post refer to?
(Melanie, you can't answer this one)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The neighbors wonder about me

It's 10pm. I'm sitting on the concrete on the back porch, laptop in my... um... lap, cell phone to my ear. I had to call customer service at Vonage to try to get the phone line hooked up, but, since the cellular service is so bad out here I have to use the phone outside. Luckily we have a wireless router for the internet, so I can stay online (to tell them my account number, etc) from the back porch.

It's cold out here.