Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's My Blog And I'll Brag If I Want To

He may never be an Olympic athlete, but he's a gold medalist nonetheless.

Riley took 15 exhibits in 3 project areas to the County Fair. He came home with 15 blue ribbons and 3 first place medallions in Electricity, Robotics, and Photography.

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This is a blatant brag. I'm proud of him. I'm proud of how he worked on his projects without (much) complaining, how he completed his books before interview day, and how he had fun doing it.

While I can't explain much about his Electricity and Robotics projects (since I don't understand a thing about them), I can share with you a few of his favorite photos.

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And finally, the first place winning photo of one of Riley's favorite subjects, his cat, Spot (who recently gave birth in the doghouse . . . a topic for another post).

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Brag over. I'll be back with a less boastful post.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back In Time

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Sometimes living in Montana can be like taking a step back in time.

My cousin's recent wedding was a case in point. In the city, the bride and groom are likely to hire a limo as a means of transportation to and from their wedding. Out here, you're more likely to wave goodbye as the bride and groom look out from an old pickup truck or a horse and buggy.

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In my cousin's case, it was a stage coach owned by neighboring rancher Arville Lammers. While the bride and groom were busy greeting their guests, Arville and my dad were loading up all the grandkids in the coach to go for a jaunt.

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I think this is when Arville said they would wait until they had a whole load of kids before he took off.

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My dad assured him that with his nine growing grandkids and one adult chaperone, the coach was about as full as it could get.

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And then some.

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It was a "hold onto your hat" windy summer day, but the kids had a great time.

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It was a picture perfect ride.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You Can Dress Her Up

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At first glance, she might seem like a delicate little wisp of a girl, just beyond toddlerhood but not quite worldly enough for preschool. Her slow, sweet smile might convey an air of innocence. She may even cling to her mama's leg a bit.

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But then you turn your back and she's trying to cut the wedding cake. All. By. Her. Self. Thankyouverymuch. Before the bride and groom have had a chance to finish the main course.

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And then she's sweetly dancing with her brother, swaying to the music and charming the crowd.

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But slow dancing is not her style, so she is soon doing the jitterbug and looking for a more experienced dance partner.

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Her search is cut short, however, when she discovers a challenge just outside the doors.

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And goodness knows she enjoys a challenge.

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Indeed, you can dress her up, but you can't keep her off the straw stack. She is, after all, a country kid.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Grandpa And The Greats

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When my grandpa was a little boy, his family would spend Independence Day in a mountain meadow near their ranch. No one can recall the exact year that the tradition began, but since the family settled on the ranch in 1914, we know that six generations have been retreating to that cool, quiet mountainside on July 4.

While Grandpa's siblings rarely make it back for the celebration, Grandpa and his descendants gather faithfully to feast on fried chicken, watermelon, and homemade ice cream. The faces of the crowd have changed a bit since 1914, but the menu and a few of the names have not. This year, for example, three people in attendance answer to the name James Robertson.


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This year our kids climbed the same rocks that my cousins and I climbed at their age.

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They roasted marshmallows over the same fire pit we've been using since long before they were born. (Their moms pretended not to notice the filthy hands with which they ate them.)

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On the eve of his 87th birthday, my grandpa gathered his family around him to celebrate freedom, tradition, family, and heritage. All of his children and his grandchildren were there.

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But only when the "greats" surrounded him for a photo did his smile show how much the moment meant to him. With number 15 snuggled in his lap, his day was complete.

 
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