Public Service Announcement

While everyone reading this blog gets to share some highs and lows with me, I would like to take a moment and recognize the real hero in this story. A wonderful woman and my wife…Janet. She has been keeping everything going in Atlanta. She has been very supportive of me, and she handles the 3+1 cats with one that is certified crazy. Thank you Janet for being you! You make me a better person and you are the best thing that ever happened to me.

Buffalo Jam

On the way back I ran into multiple buffalo jams. The one on the bridge reminded me of the one Janet and me had when we were at Mt. Rushmore.

On your left….please don’t hit me….

The main buffalo almost charged the truck in front of me. He started pawing the ground and lowering his head. I learned about both of these signs in the cafeteria safety video. When they do that you need to get away. Luckily a car on the other side got his attention and instead of fighting a war on two fronts he decided to move off the road.

They went down and crossed the water. I can’t imagine how cold the water was, but it didn’t faze them at all.

Easy Sunday

Went to Sunday School. It was good. We talking about how Jesus has authority and command in all situations. We also talked about it being safe staying neutral, but we need to be on the side of righteousness. That said we can’t be preachy. The main service was about dealing with tough times. The pastor talking about how the events could help us, give us the ability to help others or maybe keep us humble. He made a great point about sometime not praying for the right thing. He used the story of the man begging for money and Peter praying for him to walk and he was healed. He used that to say maybe we would be praying for money, when we should be praying for a healing. Two guys at church had this tattooed on their arm. It looked really cool.

 

Romans 1:16 ” “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

 

Got invited to lunch. It was nice talking with more people and the food was good. Had some pulled pork just like from Georgia.

Saw this parked at the restaurant. I want one.

Went to see if a broom ball game was happening, but didn’t look like it. Decided to drive east and go for a hike. It was just me and one lone buffalo. Very beautiful and quite. Had to make sure I stayed on the packed trail. I got off the trail once and my foot went into the snow almost to my knee.

The buffalo is in the center of the picture. You have to look for him.

 

Knock, Knock…Housekeeping….

Wait for it…I had waffles for breakfast again. Had to do laundry which got me in a cleaning mood. Sorted things around the house better. Moved things to better fit to how I am living in my “tiny house”. Got my shirts together for dry cleaning. I even vacuumed by spacious abode. Worked on the car. Got the cover back on the backside of the passenger seat. Worked on the driver door handle. It will now open with the right amount of force and finesse.  Broke down boxes and took them to recycling. Called my mom, dad, brother and Janet. One thing is vexing me. I know I bought a bottle of bleach from the Dollar Store in Bozeman when I first arrived, but I can’t find it anywhere.  How can something hide in 500 square feet?

Went for a drive out toward Cook City which is east. Didn’t get too far and had to turn around. Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam….

Too many in the road, decided to turn back. Stopped at an overlook an saw a waterfall that was partially frozen. Really neat looking.

 

Cowboy breakfast

Transferred everything to the BMW this morning. The door handle has to be broken on the driver side. All other doors worked fine, but the driver door will not open from the outside. It is 6:00 AM. I have opened the driver door through the passenger side. All the lights are off except my neighbor’s car lights. When a lot of really loud barking starts. So dark I can’t see anything. First thought was wolf, then I remembered that wolves don’t bark. My neighbor shouts that he don’t know who’s dog it it. We are both ready to jump in our respective cars when I see something reflective which was now in the dog’s mouth and it runs off. Later I found out that a neighbor down the hill walks a black lab. Guess she was out for an early morning walk.

Went to Cowboy’s for the Friday men’s prayer breakfast. Mom would be happy, I had grits. Found out that the owners of Cowboys are from Georgia. Breakfast was good and the discussion was good. Talked about obedience. As part of the discussion we talked about that good and bad actions have repercussions. We too often don’t think about things in that light before we do things. We discussed the line about obedience is better than sacrifice. We are going to be reading a book called “Risk – Are you willing to trust God with everything”. Going forward we will read the chapter beforehand and be prepared to discuss as a group and the pastor will be more of a facilitator and not giving the message.

Set a “video date” with Janet. It was sooooo nice to see and talk with her. A great cap for the week. I have to do some research about a flight and cat cargo. Yeah Google Hangouts. Really was so good to see Janet while talking to her.

Someone from the engineering team went into the park and shared these pictures of the snow and a wolf pack. I was not there. I an getting the dates sorted out for my trip to the interior of the park. Was thinking it was going to be next week, but I think it will get pushed another week now.

 

Who knew that Bison was so controversial?

Have started implementing some changes at work. Had the first morning stand-up with my team. Overall it was a work day. It started snowing really hard. Like an inch an hour. Went to a baby shower for a coworker. Really nice turn out and was fun. The cake was amassing to see and tasted very good. Sorry the picture is blurry. I am posting it anyway so you can get an idea of how great it was. Everything on it was cake except the baby rattles. The bear was made with rice crispy treats.

Went to the bison in winter discussion. It was really good and I learned a lot. Many groups with strong passions about bison. One group thinks that no effort should be taken to contain the bison. They want them to roam free all over Montana, even the major cities if the bison wanted to go there. Another group thinks they should not be contained, but that people should be allowed to hunt them once they leave the park. Another group thinks that the population should be controlled by taking some to slaughter.  Yet another group thinks that the extra or any that try to leave the park should be captured and given to a Native American Indian group in north east Montana that is building a herd with the plan to repopulate all Native American reservations across the US with bison herds. Given all that you have the biologists that are trying to understand what the bison want and how to provide a good home for the bison with the least amount of politics as possible. I also learned that it is very hard for a wolf pack or a bear to take down a bison and that more bison die drowning than from predators each year.  Seems the bison get used to walking on the lakes and rivers during winter and the when spring comes a few break through the ice and drown. The grizzly bears pull them out of the water to eat them.

Was “fun” driving home in the little scooter car. Missed the turn for my road again. Well didn’t miss it. Applied the brakes for what I thought was early enough and then slid past my turn. Made it up the hill fine. Weather calling for 40% chance of snow every day for the next week. Will be taking the BMW in the AM.

Really bad morning

As the alarm clock went off and I started opening my eyes at just the right angle with the ceiling it caused my mind to think I was back in Smyrna. In that split second my mind thought a was waking from a crazy dream. The way the covers were I thought Janet was to the right of me and a cat was at the foot of the bed. I was so excited as I rolled and reached to put my arm around Janet. Since I had no where to really reach and my mind was processing the other things coming into view, it felt like a ton of bricks hit me when I realized Janet was not there. It was a feeling that when deep into my gut. I had to pull myself together and get to work for an all day broadband discussion. It was a hard day.

At the end of the day I found an envelope that had been slid under my office door. It was my first paycheck. That created some high and low emotions. Time to go home.

I felt like the elk were taunting me on the drive up the hill to my house. This picture was taken while I was sitting in the car with no zoom at all. Had another one on the other side of the car too.  Maybe they were starring at each other, but it felt like they were both starring at me with a “stupid human” glare.

Too messed up to eat dinner. Worked some more and checked personal email. Looked at my phone and saw that somehow I missed a call from Janet and her message said she was going to bed. I was so mad at myself for missing her call. How could I have missed her call? Outside an elk is shaking his head at me….

Blue skies

Another work day. It was a very clear day so the views were amazing.

Some people from Denver came in. Talked with them and had dinner together. It was a nice time.

Emotions were a little raw that night. Got home to find I had W-2 year end info from Home Depot. Trying to not let it bother me.

A work day

Drove the work car today. The low tire pressure indicator came on. I did a visual check of the tires and all seemed well. Went on to work. Checked about self serve for air and was told it was at the transportation department in Gardiner (reminder my office is in Mammonth Springs).  I am having a run of luck with cars in Montana. I needed to get a gas card as well so made plans to go to the transportation office in the afternoon. Received my gas card and schooled on how to use it. They also had me bring the car into the shop. One of the mechanics checked the tires and gave them some additional air. I felt ridiculous. I asked them about how I could do it myself going forward. If I can’t check the air and add when needed in Montana I think they will take my “man card” away.

Work was a work day. Emails, meetings, phone calls were all to be done. I worked late and had dinner in the employee cafeteria so I could attend the cougar discussion. Well it turns out that the cougar expert was a government employee so the talk was canceled. What is the world coming too…..

On the drive home the tires were good. I did see a coyote and a huge fox on the drive home so that was a win. When I got close to home it started snowing hard. Will have to check the weather in the AM to see which car to drive tomorrow.

The Door Strikes Back

The elk said hi at my bedroom window this Sunday morning.

Going out for church this morning it was cold and my driver door would not open. I crawled over from the passenger side. I am sure my neighbors think I am crazy.

This was the view at the end of my road about to turn on the road to town.

The door opened from the inside fine. Bible study and church was good. These are the views coming out of church.

Back at home I can open the car door fine from inside, but no go from outside. If the weather stays sunny I will take the work car on Monday. That door is killing me.