Kiss The Fiddler

Ramblings, moments of humor, random thoughts, experiences, insights, simple wisdom, and whatever else I feel like sharing.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy October!

It's a busy time around here. The garden needs to be harvested and put to bed. That's a tasty endeavor. There are beets, carrots, never ending green beans, corn, potatoes in red, blue and boring, chard, ground cherries, tomatoes, dill, cukes, lots of squash . . . Luken loves going into the garden. He samples the best and freshest of food and it's all good.

I've started being more diligent about working out. I've missed one day in the last week. Just one. I'm proud. Kara gave me Taekwando lessons for my birthday. I started them this week. LOVE it! I'm pretty sore from it but wow, it sure was fun!

So, between working out, the garden, raising our Little Bear, carseat checks, and life in general, things have been pretty busy. In a good way. Busy and good.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Owie Bug! Owie Thumb!

Luken got stung by a yellow jacket this week.

We leave our back door open during the day so the animals can come and go at will. Well, part of that deal is that numerous flying pests also come and go at well. Luken has been very good about leaving them alone. Until yesterday. He evidently got too close and a yellow jacket stung his little thumb.

It swelled very quickly and badly. He began getting a red streak up his arm. In addition to his thumb swelling, his entire hand swelled. Needless to say, he got a dose of benedryl.

When the swelling didn't go down, I made a poultice of a fresh young garden onion and baking soda. I spread the goop all over his poor thumb. At this point, the skin on his thumb was drum-tight and he couldn't move it at all. He was fussing and crying - clearly in pain. He wouldn't leave the goop alone so I bandaged it up so he couldn't get at it.

After a couple hours of watching him, we put him to bed. In the morning, I took the bandage off. The swelling had gone down lots - almost completely gone! No more redness. He mentioned having an owie thumb a couple times today but it did not seem to slow him down.

I'm glad I know how to treat yellow jacket stings. Onion and baking soda. It really does work.


Luken Can Fly!

Yup, it's true! Luken can fly. He loves it!

We go to baby gym about once a week. There, we meet up with cousin Mac and play, play, play!

Here, the boys are beating each other with balloons.

Sounds fun, eh? It is fun. Really, it is! There are so many things to do there. There is a foam pit to jump into. There are things to climb and explore. There are things to swing from. There are trampolines. And, there is flying.

Luken decided this week that he'd like to fly.

Luken loved it! And I was so proud.


Thursday, September 9, 2010


We went to the Ravalli County Fair last Saturday. Had a great time!

We saw all sorts of animals. Luken got to get up close and personal with some young goats He thought that was pretty fun. We drink goat milk and he kept wondering where the milk was.

This year, Luken expressed interest in the rides.

Kara and I decided to try out the Ferris Wheel with him.

I was worried that he'd get scared. Oh, no! He loved it. When it stopped to unload, he got upset.

One other ride in particular interested Luken.

Yup, the little roller coaster. The cars to this ride were wide enough for two children and had enough knee room for two children. I rode the ride with him because he's too little to go alone. He had a blast but my knees are still black and blue.

Doncha love how all the riders are little kids and then, there's ME! It was worth it though. Luken shrieked and laughed the entire time. When the ride came to a stop, I helped him out of the car and he promptly climbed into another before I could disembark. Too bad we could only ride once.

Fair season is over for the year. We had lots of fun.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Health Insurance

Health insurance is a huge issue for me. I pay nearly 700 dollars each month for my health insurance. It's good insurance but it costs almost as much as the mortgage for my house. Crazy!

Well, this week I bought other insurance. A new company accepted me and my policy takes effect on September 15th. I'll pay under 300 dollars a month for it! How cool is that?


Dear Readers

Dear Readers,

Thank you SO much for writing comments! I know I'm silly but your comments make my day. I dunno why my goings-on interest anybody but myself but I think it's kinda cool.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Operation Iraqi Freedom is over! Please, let peace grow.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shift Change at the Downing Mountain Fire


My old computer gave up. I've been busy. Haven't managed to blog in nearly a month. Lots of my pictures are still stuck on my old computer. But, here are a few that I have on this computer.

Hiking near the Bass Creek lookout:

Camping up Copper Creek with my mom, sis, and cousins:

Alder Creek Fire. Visible from my back yard.

I went to Helena for a class. It was a good class.

Downing Mountain fire. Spent a bit of time there.


A Day In The Life

wake to pager. ignore pager. wake to wife. kiss wife. ignore wife. wake to baby. haul ass outta bed. get baby up. change diaper. stick finger. make coffee. make breakfast. feed baby breakfast. start to clean kitchen. get baby down from breakfast. chase baby. remember to take meds. put dog outside. clean up spilled (dumped) dog water. look at living room in dismay. snip nails off baseboard. re-install 1 piece of baseboard. let dog in. read book to baby. let dog out. brush teeth. get baby dressed. brush baby's teeth. let dog in. clean up dog water. get dressed. look for keys. find keys. let dog out. find baby's shoes. get baby drink of water. load baby into car. drive to pharmacy. unload baby. talk to god at pharmacy. load baby into car. look for keys. drive to fire hall. unload baby. hand baby off to favorite firefighter. research and print car seat materials. chase baby. tidy fire hall. see guys off. chase baby. load baby into car. find keys. drive south to see fire. sing with baby in car. duck to miss flying baby shoes. find good fire watching spot. park. get baby out of car. take pictures of fire and air show. chase baby. load up. find keys. drive to DQ. order crap food. watch fire and air show whilst eating. clean sticky baby. find keys. drive sticky tired baby home. unload baby. chase escapee baby. trip on dog whilst entering house. clean and cuddle baby. chase dog out of nursery. put baby down for nap. clean up dog water. sit on bed and check emails. text wife. talk to wife. make an ass out of self whilst talking to wife. text wife. try to nap. get up to comfort crying baby. soothe baby back to sleep. kick cats out of nursery. resume "nap". greet wife as she comes in the door. check in with wife. decide to drive back down to fire. get way-laid on way to the highway. help jump start charlie's pick-up. drive to fire hall. help with red cards. drive home. change into fire clothes. get cameras. drive to fire hall. help guys get ready for shift at fire. talk on phone. find new fire shelter. find wildland pack. get water for guys. remember that i'm hungry. grab a handful of stale chips. eat a coupla. throw the rest away. grab a cold bottle of water. load guys' stuff into tom's truck. pile in. ride south to fire. joke about women, deer, fire, trucks, any other random thing we can think of. arrive at fire hall in hamilton. shuffle inside. find a spot in meeting room. listen to briefing. field random phone calls having to do with current fire situation. sit around. go get dinner at local grocery store. head up to staging area with guys in truck. eat gross potatoes on the way. forget about potatoes. watch dozer truck get stuck. watch dozer truck get unstuck. find staging area. watch huge planes fight fire. take pictures. watch huge helicopters fight fire. take more pictures. spot new smoke across the valley. look at new fire with field glasses. listen to second briefing. take more pictures. hang out. realize that i'm way too hungry. poke around staging area looking for food. give up. take more pictures. tease guys. eaves drop on radio como. use outback. take more pictures. see guys off on their shift. load truck. pile in. find old doughnut. eat half of it. toss the rest in trash. gross. ride down mountain to airport. talk to wife on phone. ride back to home base with guys. unload truck. check in with fire chief. find keys. give ron a ride home. drive home. take off boots. kiss baby. crawl into bed next to wife. check email. download pictures. talk about day. watch news. talk about my day. make plans for tomorrow. finally fall asleep.


Sunday, August 1, 2010


We went on a great hike on Saturday. We hiked up Bass Creek to the log jam. It was a really pretty hike. There were lots of berries to eat.

While reaching for a nice ripe thimble berry, I saw these tiny babies.

I got tired along the trail so I sat down for a little rest. I plopped down. After a minute, I felt something under my butt cheek. I got up to find this friendly guy. Don't worry, I didn't hurt him.

The little pond at the long jam was so pretty! I could have stayed there all day.

(photo credit to Kara for this one)

Speaking of wildlife, we heard the Young Dubliners!

It was pouring down rain and the crowd was pretty lively. We had a great time!


Monday, July 26, 2010

The Unmistakable Sound

There's an unmistakable sound that I hear during the summer. It's the sound of big heavy fire planes.

A fire stated on Sunday afternoon near Corvallis. In a very short time, the fire blew up, sending up an impressive column of smoke.

Luken and I went for a drive to get some pictures.

The planes have been busy all day. I listen to them fly up and down the valley, two by two loosely. This the Dominic Point Fire. Use the link if you want to learn more about it.

Our fire department has an engine on the fire today. Be safe out there, guys.


More Fest!

On Sunday, Kara was sick so Luken and I went back to the Bluegrass festival.

We took our own chairs this time. We had cold drinks and snacks and Luken had a stash of toys and his woobie. We had another great day there!


Saturday Adventures

I had a car seat check Saturday morning. When I got home, we went on a hike. We went up to Larry Creek and hiked the Fire Ecology Trail. It's one of our favorite local hikes.

Luken is old enough now that he can "hike" part of the way himself. His max is about 1 mile.

After that, he needs a ride.

After our hike, lunch, and a nice long nap, we went to the Hard Times Bluegrass Festival. It was about halfway between Hamilton and Darby.

We sat on our blanket on the ground in the shade and listened to really great music.

The company wasn't half bad either.

It was a great spot for a festival. We had a great time!

We came home at the end of the day happy, filthy and tired.


Luken's Bithday

Luken turned 2 on Friday! Kara took the day off work so we could celebrate as a family. We had a good day although I didn't manage to take any pictures. I have pictures of the day before and the day after though.

We had planned on going to Splash Montana for Luken's birthday. It was so bloody hot though that even the water park didn't sound like fun. So we did other things instead.

I worked on the floor in our living room. So far, so good.

On his birthday, Luken got to play in the park with Grandma Bonnie.

We went with Larkin and her boys to see Toy Story 3 in 3D. It was both little boys' first time at a movie. They did surprisingly well. We managed to stay for the entire show!

After the movie, we all went to Coldstone. Yum!

I think Luken had a good day. I sure did.

I am full of all sorts of emotions that my baby is two years old. I'm so happy to be his mama. I'm sort of sad that he's not a little baby anymore. I'm excited for what lies ahead of him. He is such a wonderful child.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sapphire Adventure

First, we got dressed, complete with headbands. Aren't we bad ass?

Then we drove miles and miles on a windy mountain road.

Over Skalkaho Pass

Past an old burn area

Past a really pretty waterfall and nice mountain meadows.

Past a really rock scree.

All the way to Gem Mountain.

We met Larkin, Mac, Kanon, my dad Leonard, and his wife Christine there.

This whole looking for sapphires thing is fun! I've been there several times and can't wait to go back.

You pay fifteen bucks for a bucket of gravel.

These guys shovel gravel into your bucket from this pile.

After you get your bucket of goods, you find a table, a screen, a pair of tweezers, and an empty film canister. Then you dump some of your gravel into your screen.

And wash it in the giant water trough. Rock and shake. Rock and shake. Rock and shake.

When your gravel is clean and you've shaken all the sapphires to the bottom of the screen, you take your dripping rocks back to your table and dump the screen upside down.

If you've done a good job washing your gravel, the sapphires will be sitting right on top of your dumped out rocks. They look like little pieces of glass. They can be just about any color.

Here, Larkin and Kanon pick through their screen of gravel.

Monka leans over to help.

Looks like Lollie (Luken's name for Christine) found a nice one!

While the big people hunted for sapphires, the little people played.

They dug in a gravel pile.

They pushed "big trucks!" around the grounds.

There were fun things to climb on.


and poles.

Everybody had a good time. When we were finished with our gravel buckets, we gathered for lunch.

It was a great day! I enjoyed the time with my family. We should get together more often.