In the midst of it all

This week was a good sort of interesting.

I drove to Missoula, Montana, for a conference/seminar/training opportunity, and got to meet Audrey Nelson, PhD. She’s a powerhouse of a woman, and teaches communication and gender to all sorts of high-ranking companies. I loved learning from her and I admired how well she spoke and got her points across while listening to our questions and working with everybody.

This weekend I checked out far too many books from the library, drank a lot of caffeine in various cafes, and had good conversations with people I’m lucky to consider my friends. I went out and had a blast with Ella, and wore my calf-length camel colored wool jacket that makes me feel like I belong in a film noir.

Today I am doing my taxes and procrastinating but excited to get a bit of money back.

I hope your spring has thus far been beautiful, April is a month full of hope for many, and I am no exception. Every week I am closer to leaving and being done with my horrible work situation, and one step closer to better things! Silver linings, silver linings.

Bits of Blue

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I arranged the film I scanned in two parts: White and Blue.

Montana in the winter tends to be shades of White and Blue and Grey, but luckily my pictures were a bit happier than just being Grey.

I don’t have much to say. My photographs here are mostly quiet morning moments on the weekends when I would put on my heavy boots and head outside with the camera in my gloved hands. More crystalline ice structures, beautiful evening light on the grass, the light streaming in through my filmy curtains, and time outside. Working 40 hours a week I do find it hard to commit to being outside, but lately I’ve been trying very hard to go on walks, sit outside when it’s sunny, and just have more time, no matter how short, with a less artificial world.

Snowscapes

I recently got some film developed and spent all of last Sunday curled up with my scanner, watching it slowly reveal what my negatives had gotten from my adventures outside. I watched A Streetcar Named Desire and swooned over Marlon Brando a bit while my negatives appeared, and remembered capturing these images.

A few months ago the lake would get the most incredible ice structures and snow patterns and I avidly tramped all over the frozen surface to capture the nuances. Depending on the light and the crystals I got to see many different kinds of frozen H20, and it was incredible.

I hope you enjoy admiring all the beauty nature gives us without a second thought. It’s beginning to be a Montana Spring, which is where Winter and Spring go into a fight to the death. For several weeks there will be intermittent lovely days and snowy days, windy and clear, cold and warm. Spring always wins, Primavera always comes with her flowery cape and brings greenery to the landscape, but she has to fight very hard indeed here.

Trip ahoy! (The holy wow 8 weeks til Em+Kate take Europe post)

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I’m biting my nails and already stressing out about all the film, rain jackets, hiking boots, and things I need to acquire to get ready for this.

I cannot wait to get on that plane, with my passport safely tucked in a pocket, and take off and see the ocean far beneath me. I have not left this solid continent in 4 years, and it has been 4 years too long. I cannot wait to smell and hear and taste different air and sleep in unfamiliar places and have sore feet from poor footwear decisions. I cannot wait to see my beautiful sister experience these things for the first time, to see her face puzzle when all the different languages permeate around us, to see her realize that we are in a building from 900 years ago, and the stone floors of a church we are in has been walked on for centuries, and that there are people resting forever underneath the foundation. That the echo we hear in the hallways of buildings was heard by people back when the world was a dark place lit by candles, when most lives were short little blips, when plagues were real, when most people couldn’t read. We will see paintings made from eggs and look at things dead men left behind for us and walk around streets that are older than the nation we come from and we will also be silly and eat herring and odd dishes that fill our mouths with question marks and simultaneous delight. We will try out foreign words and mess them up but be better for trying, and we will meet people from all ends of the earth and revel with them for a time and remember that the world is indeed a small place, and that traveling is a renewal of ones faith in humanity.

I cannot wait. I am an anxious soul already and knowing that soon I’ll be somewhere else saturates my dreams and my days.

Raspberry pie!

This is the amazing all-butter crust pie I made on Sunday night.

It set perfectly overnight and it’s already almost gone…and only two people are eating it. So yeah, I’d say it was a pretty good raspberry pie.

If you don’t like your raspberries super sour, add in vanilla or more sugar. For every 4/5 cups of raspberries I only add in about 1/3 cup of sugar and a bit of lemon juice and some corn starch but taste test yours to where you like it. I love sour pies, especially with a heavy whipped cream.

What’s your favorite kind of pie?

 

Hawthorn Bottle Shop & Tasting Room

Helena finally got a worthy place to take all my money!

The Hawthorn is just what we all needed here. They serve wine, have cheese boards, and the interior is dim but not overly so. They have some really interesting beers on tap, and this place in general exudes a vibe that says casual cool.

The tables are a bit odd, as some are just blocks of wood and ¬†you have to be pretty petite to squeeze around them, but so far I haven’t cared. Nor have I yet knocked a glass off of a table, although that is inevitable. So far they’re off to a great start and I’m so glad a place like this exists. While they don’t have a glass of wine that’s under $5, what you get in return is the right atmosphere.

They’ve done a beautiful job creating lovely nooks and crannies to sit in, and have an awesome community table in the center of things that you can reserve for events/gatherings. Everybody that works there has been very friendly and is more than happy to help you try something new. Whether you’re seated at the bar, at a counter, or nestled around a table, you’re going to enjoy it.

I haven’t eaten enough of their food to have any feedback about it, but the wine itself is wonderful. This place is so energetic and feels really well thought out, and that consideration comes through in the decor, the insulated ceiling so that noise doesn’t bounce around, and the way the space is arranged. Plus, they immediately provide you with a wonderful bottle of water to share so nobody has to ask.

I will be back!