Oy vey, am I lame! I really had excellent intentions of writing regularly when I started this, but I quickly let it go by the wayside as I often do with well-intentioned projects.
Well, we'll give it another go, shall we? And see what perhaps I can come up with to yakk about.
Okay, quick update...
Jim sold his motorcycle, and we headed back to Montana. I am no longer employable at GVSU as I never actually finished my MA (damn life! had to keep happening, no respect for a girl's plans...) and Jim's contract is up at the end of the school year, so we're finally able to say 'good-bye' to Grand Rapids! Oh, happy dance! Anyway, we'd toyed over the last few years with Yellow Springs, Ohio... But you know what? Too small. 4000 people. It's adorable, and lovely for a weekend getaway, but for a relocation, meh. I know that we would go wackadoo there in short order. So then last summer when we travelled, we randomly happened into Missoula, Montana when Jim really needed a short break from the road and the restrained just-turned-three-year-old. And we LOVED it. And after all hell broke loose in California (a story for another time), we decided to go back and check it out further. And it was rainy, and we were crabby, but we had a pretty good day. Didn't camp, didn't try kayaking, didn't do a lot of things, but found the best. beer. ever. So, points! Then Jim took me to Traverse City finally this year. Oh man, it is gorgeous up there! And we were just about ready to pack and move north, for many reasons (most of which have completely lost significance in the months since) when he sold the motorcycle, handed me a pile of hundreds and said, "What do we do with it?" I said, "Let's go to Montana. I'm not at all sure that's not the right place."
So away we went, on a whim. Money on Tuesday, on the road by Friday, with car repairs done and packing on the fly. Drove the north route most of the way... seriously, if I never have to drive through Chicago again, I can die happy. Pulled into Missoula on Sunday the 13th of June, and headed straight downtown to the Dragon Playground. Connor had remembered that playground since last summer! Crazy! The Made Fair was happening in Caras Park, so Jim went to look around, I took Connor to the playground, then we switched off, and by the time we'd been in town for half an hour, I'd made a friend who offered us her yard in which to camp and Jim had made a friend who gave him directions to the regional Rainbow Family camp-out. That was like 90 miles, though, so we stayed in the yard of the awesome artist woman I met. And so went the week. We got pretty familiar with the city, I hiked up the M behind the University of Montana, we went to the waterpark, we hiked in the Rattlesnake, we found the Zootown Arts Community Center (I think that's it's name), we met amazing, friendly, open people. We had the best coffee!!! Seriously, Moose Drool is the shit. We shopped every day at the most wonderful food store I've been in since leaving Seattle. Everything in the universe is available in bulk, including Goddess dressing, Veganaise and Crofter's Strawberry. And flour. There are bins of wheat, and you put a bag under, and push a button, and voila! flour. Believe me, after almost 10 years in Grand Rapids, where finding coffee beans in bins is an accomplishment, this was a huge fucking thrill. Then we spent a week camping out at a small lake about 35 miles east of Missoula. Jim and Connor both tried fishing, and had a way good time. Connor ended up catching dinner one night at the children's fishing pond in town. He was sooooo proud of himself!
It was a simply lovely trip. We took 90 most of the way back, but bumped up to the UP at some point. Came back down through Petoskey and Traverse City. Man oh man, I am SO glad we went back to Missoula before we moved to Traverse!!! Tourist mecca. Traffic?! Guerneville is the same thing... summer tourists, one main street, nowhere to park, packed everything everywhere. So, Missoula it is. Having actually been there 3 times now, having actually spent 3 weeks there this summer, I am as sure as I can be. Another big plus? All my west coast friends are now a 2 day - max - drive, as opposed to the 4-5 days currently. More really, if we're being responsible. Speaking of which, Jim pushed to the point our first night back on the road heading home that he totally didn't see the mule deer that leapt out onto I-90. Now we know that he has the early stages of cataracts, it makes even more sense, but he'd pushed for almost 800 miles. We got seriously lucky. No mechanical damage, but my Taurus is two-tone now. Replaced the rear driver side door, the front left quarter panel and the side view mirror. Amazingly, no broken glass even. Although we have a permanent imprint of the old mirror sort of carved into the driver's window. The antler smear came off the windshield. Yay.
Anyway, I made sure we didn't do that again...
Good trip, fun times, cannot freaking wait to be done with Michigan and heading to the mountains. Boy, do I miss the mountains. Like, really a lot.
So, now we are back in the swing of school (for Jim), hanging at home with the boy most days (me), and gearing up for the winter. I canned this year for the first time! Shout out to digthischick for that inspiration. It feels awesome to open up the cupboard and see a shit-ton of jars of fruit that you put in the jars! I think pear-blueberry is my fave. I have it on toast most mornings when I take my pills. I have finally started the interferon treatment for the Hepatitis C, and that, my friends, is not so fun. I will tell you all my woes, try to update more frequently... it really should be a no-brainer, because you know what? My ass is IN BED 2 days a week at least, and laying around for a good portion of the other 5. But, this too shall pass, and I fully expect a clean bill of health at the end, which will mean that I can go drink that best. beer. ever. in Missoula, and be a happy healthy gramma-lady.
Okay. Good enough for a quick update. Imma see if'n I can't make this thing a part of my life. I have some time to make new habits, that is fo sho.