Monday, March 29, 2010


Today, my MacBook Pro arrived. I opted for the 13" instead of a larger one, against the advice from several friends. I am not disappointed at all. Had I gone with the larger display, I think that it would have been too cumbersome for this little gal, and it would have not been as easy to stuff in my shoulder bag.

The whole point of upgrading to a Mac was to make my photography easier to organize and manipulate. Also, the old Dell was just getting too slow. With only a few gigs left on it's 40 gig hard drive (and overflow on an external drive), and only one gig of RAM, it just couldn't keep up. The Mac has a 250 gig hard drive, a 4 gigs of RAM (I think that's how it's said), Aperture 3, and so many other little tricks up it's sleeve, it will be keeping me on my toes for several days. I'm not sure about their weight differences, but the Mac is definitely smaller, with a 1" smaller screen, that was to be expected, but also, it is almost half as thick as the Dell. Another bonus is that the new machine has a built-in camera, so no more cord to hook up my Logitech camera.

The uploading begins...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Goodbyes are sweeter with cheesecake

My cheesecakes have become a famous treat. Former co-workers back in Iowa still comment about them, and say that when I visit, I should also plan on making a cake just for them. While I have no plans to go home anytime soon, I think that I can arrange that when the time comes. Currently I have an Apple Pie Cheesecake in the oven for Jim, my assistant manager. His last day at work is either Friday or Saturday, as he has just accepted a job in Maryland, which is where he is from. While I am very happy for his new opportunity, I will miss him dearly, as he has become one of my greatest friends here. When he first told me of his plans to move last fall, all I could think was "NO!" not you! He assured me that of all the people here in Missoula, the person he was sure he would stay in touch with was me. I agreed wholeheartedly, and now know that I will have a place to stay on the East coast.

Back home it was kind of my tradition to make the cheesecake of choice for the birthday boy/girl, which I have kind of kept up with here as well. I have also tended to do it when I moved away/to a new place, and for when a friend moves away. Jim's two favorite deserts are Apple Pie, and of course, Cheesecake. How wonderful it is that I have a delicious recipe just for him!

Best of luck Jim!

Freezeout Lake

After sleeping in a bit on Saturday, Justin and I headed up to Freezeout Lake to see the Snow Geese on their migration. During the day they hang out at the lake in the thousands, taking off to make a circle of the lake only to land again in the water. The sound of several thousand geese honking at each other sounds like a large cocktail party, and when they took off, even from a quarter to half mile away, we could feel it. Somehow, I found it very relaxing, and my only wish for the afternoon would have been to have warmer, calmer weather.

By sunset they had all left the lake to eat in the barley fields and bed down for the night, but the sun peaked out between the clouds and lit up the icy lake beautifully.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Training for the Missoula Marathon officially began last Monday for me. At the same time, a nasty cold also set in, affecting my breathing in a serious way. Not to mention that my endurance is down a bit, and running outside again is completely different from running on a treadmill. I keep reminding myself that as long as I can get my distances in every week, my speed will come back in time. It's all about taking it easy and having fun.

18 weeks is a long training program, but it should be fun. This year, we've decided to create a team that will include Justin, Blake, Joe, Nora, Amy, and myself. We haven't come up with a team name yet, but the plan is to start our long runs on Sundays together, and then meet up for coffee/beer/food afterwards. This past Sunday, as luck would have it, I ran into Nora, Joe and Blake and joined them for most of a 5 mile run. Now, I'm not much of a chatter while I run, but it seems like everyone else is. When I'm running, I use it as my "quiet" time. Time to work out what's going on in my head, and to just be. I don't mind if someone is with me, in fact, I've started to need someone to at least run part of it with me, which is a big change from when I first started to run, not wanting anyone with me. Justin has been a great running partner, as we live together and can just hop right onto the River Trail. He's a bit faster than me already, and I feel bad for slowing him down, but when he needs to speed up, he just runs ahead and then runs back to me, which is motivating for me to work on my speed. In time, I will be in tip top shape, and it will be smooth sailing again.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Having a ball in Montana

It seems like my posts here are few and far between, but I assure you, I'm still around. Between working on my classes at night and hanging out with friends, I have found it hard to find time to get on here and fill everyone in on what's been happening. Here goes:

First of all, I've completed my first three classes, thus acquiring my Accredited Jewelry Professional certificate. What the course says this means is that customers will be more comfortable buying from me because they will see me as a more knowledgeable salesperson. Whatever they want to think about it is fine with me.

On Saturday, I headed to the Black and White Ball with several of my friends. It was an excuse to buy a new dress, and of course, new shoes too! Kimber offered to do my hair and makeup and I gladly accepted. We all looked fabulous and had a great time and even did a bit of dancing.

Sunday morning, Justin and I got up at 5:30 to head up to Glacier National Park. It was our first visit this year and it was wonderful. The weather was perfect, with hardly any clouds and just a slight breeze. We were able to have a picnic along the river just outside the east side of the park which was as far as we could get :( The plan had been to set up our tent and take a nap in the afternoon, but I felt fine by then after a short snooze on the way up, and convinced Justin that it wouldn't be worth the effort. McDonald Lake was as flat as glass and the reflections were great. I have been going to GNP so much since I've moved to Montana, that I want to start going to other places more frequently as well, but as always, Glacier did not disappoint and I was happy to be there.

My next short trip for photography and time with Justin, I would like to head towards Yellowstone. A change in scenery would be nice and a different subject to capture would stimulate my creative tendencies in a different way, as I seem to get my jewelry ideas from my surroundings and it's time to change things up a bit.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Already Spring?

It may only be March 1st, but the weather as of late has had me thinking that it is March 20th. The sun has been shining more often than not here in Missoula, and my "weekend" did not disappoint. I started both of my days off by sleeping in, and by sleeping in, I mean not rolling out of bed until 8:15am. After mustering up the energy to do that, I somehow managed to make coffee and take a walk along the river with Justin on both days. I find it so rejuvenating to walk with the crisp morning air cooling my skin one moment, only to turn around and bathe in the warmth of the sun the next.

This "weekend" was a weekend of firsts for me this year. Along with my morning walks (with coffee, and Justin) I also rode my bike for the first time this year (both days), hiked up to the top of the M on Mt. Sentinel via the North trail, walked to Kettlehouse brewery with growlers in hand, and enjoyed dinner at Taco Sano. I also got to play with my camera and have decided that I need to carry it with me always. After all, you never know what might be around the next corner.

Higgins Street bridge

Orange Street bridge

A lone tree on the hike up Mount Sentinel.