Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I know, I know...

It's Wednesday and I haven't posted since Sunday. It's actually been a pretty lame week.

Oh, except for our trip to Honduras.

(I have the feeling that none of you are surprised by that statement. You know us too well.)

Stephan's niece Sahra is a student at DePaul, and they have a chapter of Global Medical Brigades (GMB) there. They're organizing medical outposts in the poorest parts of Honduras (the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere). The DePaul trip is working with a children's group: Sociedad Amigos de los Ninos. Could you be genetically related to Stephan and not be inspired to help people? I don't think so. She signed up for their next trip in June, and called Stephan to ask him if he would come with. He was so proud to hear her excitement. Now, however, we're both very humbled to realize we don't have the necessary money go. We've been stressing about this all week. We're both very proud, and hate hate HATE asking for money (talk to my college roommates about all the white blood cells I donated for $14.00 a week Junior year).

We're formulating a plan- it involves asking everyone we know for $10. We don't know if we're going to do something fantastical to raise the money (Stephan's idea was walking from Baker to Miles City- an 80 mile walk), or just get out our knee pads and start begging. If anyone has any good ideas, feel free to post them. Until then, check your mailboxes for the begging part.

Global Medical Brigades website
Sociedad Amigos de los Ninos website
DePaul's website

Sunday, February 24, 2008

One Year Ago Today-ish

Boy, am I glad that THIS is over!

Stunned Silence

Remember in the first Matrix, when we see Keanu all hooked up to those wires in the gooey bubble-pod? And then, later, we see the metal ports in the back of his head and back where the wires used to be? And it's like, whew! He's all off-the-hook now?

And remember in the Wizard of Oz, when that b--ch Glenda tells Dorothy that she had the power to go home the whole time?

That's what it's like to see the laptop running on it's own, without being tied to the backup drive . I had the power the whole time (well, since getting the data off the dead-thing and onto the backup drive). The answer was so simple, it had been staring me in the face the whole time.

Remember in Ghostbusters at the end when Gozer asks "Are you a god?" and Ray says, "No" and Gozer says, "Then... DIE!"
and lightning flies from her fingers, and then Winston says, "Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say "YES"!"?

Well, when the computer asks EVERY SINGLE TIME you boot up the laptop if you want to "initialize" the new drive, you say "YES!".

Saturday, February 23, 2008

About Guns

Here's the gun. We're off to shoot it today. Since I technically bought it, and it's registered in my name, I'm feeling kinda good about handling it. Not so frightened.

Like I said to my friend, "It's not scary, it's shiny!"

Overheard: In our living room

Me: Really! You shoot skeet?

Her: Yeah, I used to back in the day.

Her Husband: Uh huh. That's when the shooting range was next to the airport.

Us: WHAT!?

Her Husband: We were aiming the other way, so it was ok.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Overheard: Blogging

Me: How do I blog about this?

Him: This is about your... you facing your... one of your deepest, darkest fears.

Me: Yes. And I triumphed. Mightily. Do you like it?

Him: Well, for your Valentine's Day gift you'll be receiving a membership to the N.R.A.

Me: So you like it?

Him: Duh.

"It" is a new rifle. A shiny...

Me: What do I call it again?

Him: It's a Savage, 270 bolt-action with a Simmon's Scope. A .270 caliber if that's what you mean.

Me: I have no idea what I mean; I'm just trying to tell everyone how much I rock for buying you a rifle. A good rifle. Just what you wanted. AND it's in my name, meaning I'm a gun owner, which should NOT be okay with me.

Him: We went over all that in the car.

Me: I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

More about Cows

If there's something I've learned more than anything else out here, it's how much effort, love, and work goes into each and every cow/calf/steer/bull. Yesterday morning Stephan took me with him to help 'water' some cows. Luckily I wore boots. I had this picture of walking around in the dirt, petting and talking to the cows.

Not so.

We were only 'watering' four of the cows. Stephan filled the bucket with a hose, and the slowly creeped forward. They didn't get close enough to touch. AND- they don't lap up water like dogs. I saw their huge noses plunge in, and then the water level started steadily dropping. No slurping. No lapping. Just, sucking, as if through a straw. With their lips. How weird!

I spent some time with our rodeo friends, the loopie and the roughie, this weekend so I have more to post about the intricacies of those folk. Until I post it, enjoy this post from last year!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What Do You Mean the "Road was Closed"?

I mean that Tuesday night was very warm, over 40F. Then, in the early hours of Wednesday, about 2" of water froze solid onto the roads. We started the car and left the driveway at 5:15am. Immediately, the tires slid out from under us, and Stephan grabbed the wheel a little tighter. Turns were impossible. Accelerating was impossible. Stopping was cause enough for a minor TIA. Climbing hills produced a feeling in my bowels that I'd never felt before.

So, at 6:10am we arrived at the hospital, and I was not too excited to get back in the car and drive myself home through all that ice. Luckily, we left the girls at home, so they were happy and warm. Wearing my pink flannel pajamas, no bra, not having brushed my teeth, I fell asleep on the couch in the ER waiting room. 2 hours later I woke up, and headed out the door, assuming that the addition of sunlight would be enough to make the roads passable.

Instead, the roads out of town were barricaded. Thou Shalt Not pass, not North, South, East, or West. There are three levels of road conditions: go for it, emergency only, and Thou Shalt Not. If you Pass while Thou Shalt Not- thou wilst be put in jail. It wasn't until 11am that the road West (to Plevna and home) was declared Go for it.

So I went, and now you know.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Last Year

Where Was I?

What a weekend. This is the best way I know to sum it up....

10am leave for Billings
3pm Arrive in Billings, check into hotel
5pm Stephan leaves to drive back to Baker

4:55am leave for airport
4:59am get to airport
1:00pm arrive in LA

9:00am get to meeting
1:00pm leave meeting and drive like hell down the 101
3:00pm check into flight
4:00pm flight to Denver is cancelled
4:01pm get in line to get new ticket
4:20pm Stephan arrives in Billings and checks into Super8
4:55pm get new ticket for Tuesday morning
5:00pm told luggage made it to Billings
5:01pm tell them I'd like to see that method of transportation
6:00pm check into LAX Marriot
8:00pm back at airport, my luggage is found
8:30pm use the meal ticket (worth $7.50) to buy lemonade to go with my dinner

3:30am wake up
4:00am check into flight
6:00am on the way to Billings
1:00pm arrive in Billings
4:00pm see a movie
10:00pm arrive in Plevna

4:45am wake up
5:15am get in the car to drive Stephan to work
6:15am arrive in Baker (12 mile drive)
6:16am road to Plevna is closed due to ice
9:00am steal a toothbrush from the hospital
11:30am arrive back in Plevna, tired, hungry, greasy, generally unhappy

So, THAT's how my trip to LA was, THAT'S how the weather is here, THAT's how Stephan is doing. THAT's all the capitols I'm going to use today.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

You Know You're in Montana When....

... for Valentine's Day you get a deep freeze and a 1/4 buffalo.

I'm going to California for a day. I'll post when I get home!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The answer is no.

In the last two weeks Stephan has picked up several new skills:

- cattle feeding
- cattle herding
- 4-wheeler riding
- BS'ing with old men over coffee
- stair-building
- arc welding
- mig welding
- wire-fed welding
- septic tank defrosting
- well repair
- tractor driving
- bowstaff skills
- computer hacking skills
- numchuck skills

Does he ever sit down!?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Cel-web-rity Status


Overheard: the Plevna Bar

Stranger: Hey, ah** you guys Anna and Stephan?

Us (uncertainly): Yes.

Stranger: Ah'm Don! And this is Melissa!

Us: Hi. (??)

Stranger (Don): We reahd yauh blahg. I emailed you befoah.

Me: OH! Hi! I DO remember you. From Rhode Island?

No longer a Stranger (Don):Yah. It's wicked greaht to fahnlly meet you.

What followed was 2 hours of catching up with complete strangers, comparing notes about new experiences in Plevna and Montana, tips on how to survive, what to eat, what to do for fun, etc. etc. etc. I'll spare the details, but the bar made good money that night, and we made two new friends!

**Sorry to make fun of your accent, but it types out really well! After three beers it was really a hoot to hear Stephan's South side accent and Don's East Coast accent duel it out.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Last Year.

The weather finally got better today. I never thought +20F would feel as tropical as it does.

Overheard: Huh?!

"...and that's why it's funny that Stephan's from the South side and I'm from the North side."

"Oh, yeah, it's like Clint being a Roughie and me being a Loopie."

Uh huh. Yeah. Just like that. Seems there are three people in the world, Roughies, Loopies, and Timies (time-eys). These are different distinctions of Rodeo-folk. It took about half an hour to explain all this to me. Lucky for you, I took notes.

Roughies: riders of 'rough' or untrained stock animals
1. Saddle bronc riders- these are people who get saddles onto wild horses (horses that haven't been ridden or 'broken') and try to get their 8 seconds on them after being released from the gate. You see this is lot in movies.
2. Bareback riders- Same thing, except without the saddles. This is more traditional. Its history is when ranch-people took wild horses, jumped on them, and tried to 'break' them. This still happens on some ranches.
3. Bull Riders- they ride bulls. Bulls are always male (I learned this last spring) and can be very very aggressive. When someone says PBR here, they mean Professional Bull Riders.

Loopies: riders of trained stock, trying to lasso (a word they don't use) something on the ground
1. Breakaway Ropers are always female. Once the rope is around the calf's neck, the roper signals the horse to stop suddenly. The rope is tied to the saddle horn with a string. When the calf hits the end of the rope, the rope is pulled taught and the string breaks. The breaking of the string marks the end of the run (that was all from Wikipedia)
2. Team Ropers- two riders (male or female), one ropes the head of the calf, the other ropes the hind legs. This is a timed event as well.
3. Tie-Down Ropers- (used to be called Calf Roping, but the ASPCA folks got mad) these people ride horses, rope the neck of a calf, jump off their horse, and tie the feet of the calf together. Another timed event.

Timies: Riders of trained stock, racing around.
1. Barrel Racers- on a horse, they ride figure eights around big barrels. This is a timed event, usually run by women. There are many women-barrel racers who have been made into action figures.
2. Steer Doggers- jump off of horses and wrestle calves to the ground. I think these are always men, and sometimes it's also called "Bull Dogging".
3. Pole Bending- is like the skiing event, but on a horse. It's figure eights again, timed, and both men and women compete.
4. Goat Tying- is the same as Tie Down roping, but with girls, and goats. Goats, apparently, are less hostile than baby cows.

There are also a group of rodeo events that are just for fun. Use your imagination, or ask me to describe them. I'm getting tired of looking up rodeo things. They include wild cow milking, wild horse racing, mutton busting, team branding, steer loading, and the hide race. For the hide race, imagine being pulled behind a speed boat on an inner tube, but instead of the boat, it's a horse, instead of water, it's the dirt arena, and instead of the inner tube, you're on a large piece of leather.