Sunday Afternoon Coffee [On Thursday. On the Road]

IMG_1370Soooo maybe this is Thursday coffee. And it would be on the road somewhere between Bozeman and the northwestern corner of Iowa. Cause that is where I am headed for a wedding with The Sexy Electrician  for a wedding. Since I have barely been on my computer lately, (I can go days, all weekend and then some, without turning on my computer, it’s crazy), I figured I am going to be drinking a lot of coffee over the 14 hour drive, let’s do an update.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you I finally got a haircut last week and went with bangs. So far, I am a fan, let’s hope it stays that way. Last time I had bangs was almost seven years ago and the New York humidity did not play nice. Hopefully the lovely dry western air will continue to be nice.

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If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that my parents came to visit a couple weekends ago. I took them on the Triple Tree hike. I thought it was 4.5 miles , but we started at the base parking lot, so it was 6 miles. They made it just fine and were not sore the next day, so I guess I didn’t kill them. We also went to sprint car season final race and had a blast. On Sunday we took it easy and drove up to Fairy Lake. We took my little car up one of the worst gravel roads I have ever seen. We could have easily high centered in on a huge rock or rut. We made it. It was beautiful.  For their final night, we went out to Norris Hot Springs to wind down and relax after I made them hike all over the mountain side.

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Fairy Lake

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Top of Triple Tree

IMG_2038And since Fairy Lake was so beautiful and TSE did not go with us, I drug him up there last weekend after it snowed the week before. (Yes, I said it snowed, it also snowed in August up there.) It was beautiful as always and there was some lovely snow hanging out around the lake. We took his truck, so it didn’t forever to get up there.

Fairy Lake seven days later

Fairy Lake seven days later

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that the TSE was trolling craigslist on Saturday. He came across this awesome old record holder. It looks like a dresser, but bottom three drawers tilt out to hold records. I admit I don’t have any records but I loved the thing. TSE emailed the guy and I went home. Less than an hour later he showed up with it. I was so excited! I love this thing.  I am going to update the finish and pulls. We will see how long that takes me to do…

IMG_2065If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I have been here for a year now, I can’t believe it. True, a year ago, I wasn’t sure I would be sticking around and ran down to Austin for a couple weeks to have some fun. But I ended up back here and I am so happy how everything is working out!

The reason I know it has been a year is because I crashed the birthday party of one of my now good friends, Dusty. We made sure he was just as snockered his year as he was last year. It was a pretty good Saturday night.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I finally made it to my first MSU football game of the season last weekend. We won, but barely in the end. It was a beautiful day and perfect for football. I am very excited for the season, even if we are not suppose to be that great.

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If we were having coffee today, I would show you this crazy tattoo. Maybe it’s what I should get. Though I am not sure what the point of the fish is for me…

IMG_2089If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that TSE’s cousin got a new puppy and it is an adorable, fit-in-your-pocket-for-life little one. I love it. We went over for dinner last week to meet him. His name is Rooster, Roo for short. You will be seeing more of him around here.

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He fits in one hand!

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [Labor Day Edition]

Sunday 37If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you to try this odd, but good coffee concoction of The Sexy Electrician’s. He put it in the blender. There’s coconut oil and butter in it. The idea of butter in a hot drink gave me flashbacks to drinking awful butter tea to be polite to our hosts in Nepal.  This was actually pretty good. TSE claims it’s brain food. I’ll drink it when prepared for me.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I cannot believe it snowed last weekend. That’s right snowed. In the higher elevations, but it was still there for days after. I was out of town on a trip (I promise to getting around to telling you about it!). We were worried that the weather was going to ruin it, but it seems that we missed a lot of it and had a great weekend. But I would like the snow to wait a few more months please.

Sunday 37 4If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would show you these fortunes from the cookies from lunch earlier this week. Pretty good I’d say.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that this is a really interesting read about a blind architect. Fricken awesome.IMG_1759

I am incapable of taking a good picture when TSE does. I had  to give us each a good one.  Annoying.

I am incapable of taking a good picture when TSE does. I had to give us each a good one. Annoying. Top pic- first night with the family, bottom pic- at the wedding reception.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that I had a bunch of fun a couple weekends ago at The Sexy Electrician’s cousin’s (the couple has some how been knicknamed TnT) wedding. It was at the beautiful Sacajawea Hotel in Three Forks, about a half hour away. It was a super fun wedding with great food, cake, and dancing.  I met TSE’s parents and his two sisters. I don’t think they didn’t like me.

IMG_1773If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would say that we have been hanging out with TnT quite a bit lately and having a blast. We’ve been doing some backyard barbecuing involving a lot of wine. We went out to Stacy’s for dinner a couple weekends ago. It was so good. I had not been out there before and I loved it. We are going to need to go out there more often.

Sunday 37 2If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that you will have to check out a new interiors store, The Architect’s Wife, going in on Babcock. My boss and I went over to check out the progress. Abby’s design studio will move in a couple weeks and the store will open in October. It’s going to be bad ass, if the signs above say anything at all.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am really excited to have some time to sit down and watch these films on Rebel Architecture.

If we were having coffee  this afternoon, I would show you this funny comic. So true.

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Cops clearing the street after the music is over

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I cannot believe Music on Main is over for the summer! It’s one of the first signs that the summer is starting to end. To top it off, MSU started classes last week. I’m not ready for fall quite yet.

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Helicopter flying the flag for the National Anthem

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I had a blast at the Bozeman Stampede. My friend, Ben, is one of the organizers, so I have been hearing a lot about this rodeo and looking forward to it all summer. There were fireworks, helicopters and some good riding.

Sunday 37 1If we were having coffee this afternoon, we would be talking about how nice it was to soak in the hot springs at Chico yesterday. It was gloomy and rainy all day. Daiquiris and hot water, great combination.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, it would probably be outside while we soak up the sun on the last day of August! the boys are already planning the next ski trip. I still have so much to do before the winter!

 

 

Getting a Little Redneck

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Sprint Cars

Sometimes you have to get a bit redneck, white trash, or whatever you wish to call it, and you know it’s going to be fun. For me, that generally mean something to do with hunting, guns, or cars. The Sexy Electrician likes races and car shows, so I have tagged along to some of the recent events in the area that fit the bill.

At the end of the first sprint race, there was a crazy, roll-over, parts all over the track wreck, and the guy walked away (to the ambulance)

At the end of the first sprint race, there was a crazy, roll-over, parts all over the track wreck, and the guy walked away (to the ambulance)

Boring cars

Boring cars

For a couple Friday nights we went to our second round of dirt track races at the Gallatin Speedway. When I was younger, we would occasionally go to similar races in Rapid. It has probably been around 20 years since I last attended the races, but I do love a good sprint car race. The rest are still as boring as they were before. Sorry.

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the winners

To continue my redneck summer, at the fair, we went to watch mud bogging, something I have never been to before. It was… interesting. Fun, but I could only watch so much.

Cars  (12) Cars  (11) Cars  (10)The last car related event of the summer was the Cruising on Main Car Show downtown. I was surprised at how many cars were down there.

Cars  (7) Cars  (2)IMG_1792After a few old cars, I started taking more interest in the logos and awesome old fonts.

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There were some cool cars too, I won’t lie, but if TSE was one of those guys who had to look under every hood, he would need to come find me at a nearby bar when he was done.

I think there is one more round, the “finals,” for sprint cars in September that we may or may not attend, but I think I have about had my fill of cars for the year, even if it has been fun.

 

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [thirty-six]

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I don’t hate being 30… yet. I went out with The Sexy Electrician to one of my favorite restaurants, Over the Tapas, for dinner and just relaxed with some wine on my birthday. There was also all the floating. It hasn’t been much different than 29. Other than the fact that I am THIRTY.

Sunday 36 (1)If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that Petey, Dawn’s dog has been joining us on our M hikes. And I am so impressed that he does it. He’s pretty funny and under foot.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you to check out Google Street Art Project.  It’s awesome. I have always loved street art and graffiti. Now that I live somewhere very little (good) work exists, it’s nice to be  able to cruise around other cities via the internets.

sunday 36 1 (1)If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you I had a wonderful time soaking up the sun yesterday at Bozeman Beach with friends. It’s nothing like the Rockaways, but it’s got sand and water that are clean and I can work on my tan. After that we went to The Garage for dinner and order a pitcher of sangria, expecting a carafe, it was a huge beer pitcher. We didn’t really need anything to drink the rest of the night. This morning they came over for brunch. I made zucchini with eggs bake that was really good. they provided mimosas and delicious potatoes. It’s been a great weekend so far. Sunday 36 (4)

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you I finally got a vacuum. I was borrowing my friend’s since moving in to my apartment cause I thought it was going to be a birthday present. Since it did not turn out that way, I took to craigslist and found this little guy. Who is pretty damn good for a craigslist find. And it is wonderful to have one when ever I want it. Which is bizarre that I even want to vacuum cause I hate cleaning. I guess that is what happens when you get old.

AJ on the jumping thing at the farmers market

AJ on the jumping thing at the farmers market

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Crepes

Crepes

If we were having coffee this afternoon, we would talk about the two farmers markets. I have been going pretty much every Tuesday after work and am so happy cherries are in season. I finally got  the larger one on Saturday and found some beautiful Sunflowers. I love summer in Montana!

sunday 36 golfIf we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about my adventures in golf last week and how I apparently lied to my friends about how bad I am. I told them I was terrible and wasn’t sure they would want me  to go since the ball would probably go all of 10 feet. However, I do know how to golf. When I walked up and lined myself up to swing, they were shocked I knew what I was doing. I shocked myself by actually hitting the ball and hitting it well. I have probably not picked up a golf club in close to a decade, and I was never that good to begin with, I choose track over golf in high school. That being said, I did have years of lessons when I was a kid  through middle school and my parents even bought me Junior clubs. I guess I was suppose to also add that to my  terrible disclaimer. We had a blast, I didn’t completely suck and the nine iron was my friend at all distances. Big Bertha was a close second.

sunday 36 fairIf we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you how disappointing the county fair was last weekend. Even though there is a lot of agriculture in the valley, you wouldn’t know it from the fair. There were very few cows or calves or sheep. A lot more pigs than I’ve seen at the fair at home, but not a lot else. And I have no idea where those pigs are hiding normally. We also expected there to be more vendors like the farmers markets, but there were hardly any. I was glad TSE had free passes for us since he did the wiring or whatever needed to be done for them. Guess we will have to check out the state fair instead next year.

 

If we were having coffee this afternoon, it would be up in Jackson Creek with TSE, we are house sitting again.  And we have my telescope that I am pretty excited to use. The sky has been so clear lately and there is no moon. We should be able to see some cool cosmos.

Floating the Yellowstone

10505156_10204721835352399_587330890761709051_oIf given the opportunity, I think I could float down a river every weekend. It is one of the most relaxing things ever. Great friends, a cooler of beer, good food and a raft with a lazy(ish) river might be the best combination of things ever. For the last two weekends, I got to enjoy this wonderful combo followed by more relaxing by the river. I love summer in Montana!

The Sunday after the Fourth of July and the next Saturday, my friend Dawn invited us to float with her and her best friend Ang’s, family on the Yellowstone south of Livingston. We rented rafts from Rubber Ducky and dropped in at Emigrant. We spent about four to five hours on the river with a few stops along the way, stopping at Mallard’s Rest.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA10536234_10204721864673132_5555038360798993101_oThe first weekend we had a fishing boat and non-fishing boat. Since John, Ang’s husband, and The Sexy Electrician were the only guys, they were our captains for the trip. TSE had never rowed a raft before, so it was kind of entertaining watching as his fisherman directed him from one side of the river to the other looking for sweet spots. Unfortunately, it was midday and warm so no fish were caught. It seemed very few people were getting any bites, so we didn’t feel too bad. The fisherman and grandson decided to stay at the house when we stopped by their river beach for a bathroom break. The rest of the float was pretty easy for TSE.

YS River round 2 (1) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYS River round 2 (2)The following weekend, the same crew was out with a few different faces. There was no fishing and another friend brought their raft, so their rowed and TSE got to relax the whole time. I was lazy the entire time. The only thing I did was occasionally grab a beer or snack for someone.

After finishing up, we piled in to the car we had left at the end and headed back up to grab the other vehicles at the launch. And maybe a drink at the Old Saloon before heading back to grab whoever was waiting at the end for a ride back to Ang’s parent’s home.

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Weekend one we had a fun ride back

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YS River round 2 (29) YS River round 2 (15) 10454503_10204759648737710_6044981636864666661_o

I would like Ang's Parents to adopt me

I would like Ang’s Parents to adopt me

They have an amazing house with a huge porch and property right on the river with a stretch of beach. We hung out drinking, celebrating my and Ang’s birthdays a bit. Both days were so great, it was hard to pack it up and go home at night. Hopefully they invite us back again. In the meantime, I’m sure we’ll head out on some other river adventures.

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*PIctures of me from Dawn or Ang. Or The Sexy Electrician

Livingston Fourth of July Celebration

4th of july rodeoThe Fourth of July was a blast. I love the Fourth. It might be my favorite holiday. This year a group of us went to Livingston for the big PRCA Rodeo and stayed over night in my boss’s studio downtown so we could enjoy all of the night life.

Via The Sexy Electrician

Via The Sexy Electrician

We arrived early on the Fourth to check out the studio and set up the extra bed for Dusty before we headed out for the day. My boss’s husband is a blacksmith artist, (remember this trip home?) and they purchased a studio for him downtown. Inside the studio is an actual living studio that is adorable. The whole space is really cool with a gallery space in front and all of Ira’s stuff in back with his forge. There is always something new and interesting to check out.

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Hang out in the Gallery     Via TSE

Gallery Shots Via TSE

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Studio Interior    Via TSE

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Studio Interior     Via Dawn

Studio Interiors Top two via TSE and the bottom two via Dawn

Anyway- after we set up the extra mattress, we moseyed down to the Art Fair by the old train depot. I was on the hunt for some cool jewelry. There was definitely some eclectic stuff, but nothing that was really amazing except one booth’s pieces. In the end I didn’t get anything, but it was fun to look at all the photography, metal-smith pieces, paintings, the list goes on. It was getting pretty warm for mountainy Montana so when Dawn and Dusty told us they had secured a table at the Rib and Chop, we were on the way for some tasty drinks and an early dinner before heading to the rodeo.

Not a bad scene for a rodeo

Not a bad scene for a rodeo

The rodeo was awesome as expected. We sat at the far end, next to the roping chutes so we had prime seating for the steer wrestling and roping. The steers were pretty smart that night and kept stopping short so the cowboys were riding right past them.

One of the few who caught his steer

One of the few who caught his steer

Barrel-racer blur

Barrel-racer blur

As usual, the bronc, bareback and bull riding were my favorite part. The rodeo clown was pretty funny, but not my favorite. He did have some adorable dogs doing adorable things.

At the end, all the lights went out and the fireworks commenced. I didn’t even take pictures, I was too excited. I love fireworks!

The 'burb was a bit full, The Sexy Electrician opted to ride in the way back.

The ‘burb was a bit full, The Sexy Electrician opted to ride in the way back.

After the rodeo, we crammed back in the suburban and downtown for some fun. We were dancing at The office, enjoying my coworker’s boyfriend’s band at the Murray, and had one drink at The Owl to top off the night. It was so fun wandering around. We had our drinks in plastic cups and just went from bar to bar. The cops didn’t say a word when we passed them. When everything was shut down, the four of us staying at the studio went back there and hung out talking for a bit listening to some music, (that would later be needed to drown out Dusty’s snoring), before crashing.

4th of july gilsIn the morning we packed up and headed to Gil’s for a quick breakfast and to the little wine shop across the street to pick up our hosts a thank you bottle before heading out on a hike. It was such a great time. We only had one true fail and that was the lack of late night snacks. We’ve got it covered for next year.

Purple Mountain Trail [Yellowstone Day Two]

Quake Lake & Yellowstone (85)After a rain free night camping, I made pancakes for breakfast. Shake them up in bottle. My mom was happy to see I was using the mini cast iron skillets she gave me.

Quake Lake & Yellowstone (81) Quake Lake & Yellowstone (87)We packed up camp and headed north to check out some mud pot and mud volcanoes. I love mud pots. They are just so fun to watch boil.

Quake Lake & Yellowstone (96) Quake Lake & Yellowstone (95) Quake Lake & Yellowstone (99) Quake Lake & Yellowstone (90) Quake Lake & Yellowstone (91)We continued up the road to Artist’s Point to check out The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the Lower Falls. I have been to this place many times and it never gets less beautiful. On the way there we saw a bit of wildlife and some beautiful mountain views. And some silly tourist.

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The Sexy Electrician took this one with some awesome filter

Quake Lake & Yellowstone (92) Quake Lake & Yellowstone (93)After the Canyon Village, we set out to do some hiking. Based on the discussion we had with a ranger earlier, we decided to hike up Purple Mountain, just north of Madison Junction. It was around six miles round trip, up and back down the mountain with a elevation gain of about 1600 feet. For the most part, the hike was in a heavily wooded area with a steady incline. As we hiked higher, we did start to get some amazing views of the valley below. When we got to the top, we wished we had grabbed the park map and brought it with so we could decide where we had been hiking the day before. We could see the waterfall we were going to hike to after Sentinel Meadows, but decided not to.

Purple mountain

Amazing panoramic views of the valley below

Quake Lake & Yellowstone (104)After the hike, we headed out of Yellowstone back to West Yellowstone. We had to stop for coffee again at  Freeheel and Wheel on our way out. Then we took the beautiful road through Big Sky back to Bozeman and made it back before 7 PM. I was exhausted after all the hiking, slightly cold weather, and camp sleeping, but it was an awesome trip. We spent most of the drive back looking up hikes and features in the park, planning future trips. In fact, since this post, I’ve already been back, but more on that later.