Thursday, 28 January 2010


Lailia Tov:
Bonnie's shop is being remodeled, so a visit to Sticks and Stones is out for this trip. So I am going to work some on Mark's quilt before I box it up and made it home.
Aunt Michael made a beautiful red, white and blue sweater that she gave me and I shall wear it with pride. In a few hours, I will finish the boxing I'm mailing to Virginia and Afghanistan.
I went on Facebook this morning to see what my friends were up to and of course it was full of the State of the Union speech.
I didn't stay on long.
I have made no secret that I am not a Mr. Obama supporter and his first year in office has done nothing to change my opinion.
Frankly, I am tired of hearing Mr.Obama whining about the past eight years; it's time to man up and do the job he was voted into office for.
I am sick and tired of the fighting on both sides. Both the Dems and the GOP need to stop the school yard fighting and get to work righting our nation. It took more than eight years to create this mess and it is going to take all hands on deck to right this ship (my step-dad was in the Navy)
That is why the TeaParty exist; because many of us are sick of what our leaders, ALL OF THEM are doing to this nation.
And yes, I do support the TeaParty.

It's Snowing in Afghanistan

The house from the street. It's builded into the side of Pole Mountain.

I spoke to Mark last night.
He was so excited; it is snowing in Afghanistan. Yesterday they had six to eight inches. Since it was about 7 am when I spoke to Mark, his day was just beginning. He said that the sky was steel gray, which met they could get even more snow.
And why is snow so important?
It is a huge water supply in the Spring when it melts and slows down the activity of the Talian.
Mark continues to enjoy his work and says he is getting a lot done. He also likes the people he works with.
Afterwards,  I spend the evening watching CSI with the family and working on Mark's quilt.
Today we are calling Miss Bonnie so I can visit the wonderful gift shop I'd heard so much about. Doing some quilting and then finishing Mark's box.
I also plan to mail some of my things home. This will lighten my luggae somewhat.
I go home in a few days.
As much as I miss my home, I shall be very sad to leave.

A Jew With A View: Basin, Montana

Boka Tov:
Yesterday it was a balmy 38, so I headed off for the local gift shop. It closed due to remodeling. But the owner will open it up for me today.
So I decided to do alittle exploring.
Basin is a small, quaint town and I am enjoying my stay. Since Mark and I plan to visit later in the year, I will be able to get picutre of the green carpit that covers the mountains, and see the cattle, sheep, lamas, goats and other anmials feeding in the fields. You can read more about Basin in my blog:
A Jew With A View: Basin, Montana

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Did I Mention It is Cold?

Lailia Tov;
Well, it is another cold day here in Montana.
But then again, this is Montana.
So, today we are doing laudry,enjoying coffee, and watch tv.
Believe it or not I have neve seen The Nanny.
Now I am hooked. But I have to admit; the sexual tension between Fran Fine and Maxwell Sheffield was driving me nuts. I knew they married and had twins, but it was the reaching of  its inevitable fairy-tale ending that was having me pulling at my braids. So I went on YouTube and watched  the last two seasons, including the wedding and the birth of the twins. Honestly, I liked the last two seasons better; seeing Fran and Maxwell get together, seeing these two create a life togther and even Nile and C.C. get married and start their own family.
But then, I am an romantic.
Plus it gave me the laugh I needed.
Uncle Jim downloaded the Tanach onto my laptop this afternoon, both in Hebrew and english. Pretty cool. It shall make my study to Torah and Hebrew easier.
This evening I will work on Mark's carepackage.
I can almost see his face when he sees that it is from Montana.
How I wish I could see his face now.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Yeah, it's Cold

It is has been a busy day. I made it to the post office to get the boxes I needed.
It is still bitter cold and that is with no wind.
Sadly, I left my cameria home.
On the way back from Butte, we spotted a doe and then several miles later, Lamas.
Hopefully, when I am out later, I will be able to see these lovely animals again.
I have been told that these rolling fields, hills and mountain ranges are covered with horses, lamas, sheep and cattle in the spring and summer.
It would be so cool to share this with my beloved.


Boka Tov:
This morning it is cold. Waiting for the fireplace to kick in. I was going to take a picture of the sunrise, but it is bitter cold out there.
But then this is Montana and it is winter time. So hot coffee and blogging.
Last night, Uncle Jim made Venison streaks. He blended the spices in such a way that each bite had a different, but awesome taste. We had streamed mixed veggies to go with them.
Today Jaylene and i are going into Butte. While there, I will pick up a few boxes. One is to mail Mark's quilt and a few things home. The second, I am mailing a Carepackage from here. This way the family can add letters and cards to the box for him.
Mark would love that.

Mark is loving his new duty station. Twice the work and already he sees the good he is doing. But it long hours. He now calls just before his day starts and I'm preparing for bed. Which is good.
Because I can go to sleep with his voice still in my ears.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Venison For Supper

Tonight, Uncle Jim is preparing supper.
I don't know how, but I know it shall be good.
I watched Uncle Jim on the snowplow and couldn't help but smile. I could see Mark and Uncle Jim taking turns on it, having a grand time.
It is times like these that I miss my Mark.
He would have me outside, making a snowman or getting into a snow ball fight. And of course he would win.
Afterwards we would get warm with cups of hot coco or tea.
Mark loves snow. And snow makes me think of Mark.
So does venison.
I hope he calls tonight.

Bread Making

Lailia Tov:
As I stated Tuesday, Jaylene and I made bread. It was half whole wheat-half white.
Because we were making bread for six, the recipe was doubled.

This is the first rising.

With the cover off. The dough is overflowing.

We set the bowl to soak in cold water. And note: the dough is still rising!

This is the second rising.

From that mushroon size dough came these four loaves. There are still rising.

These are the first two loaves fresh from the over.
We are still enjoying homemade bread.

A Weekend of Snow

Pole Mountain

Lailia Tov:

Since Friday afternoon, it has been snowing.
I had forgotten how beautiful a snow fall could be.
And yes Virginia, there is a difference.
As I look out the window, I don't see cars, trucks and buses going back and forth, turning the snow that dirty grey.
But it is a quiet fall. It remains pure white for hours, the silence only broken by the howeling of the wolves when a stray dog wanders onto the land.
I made lamb stew for Ere Shabbat, enough to barely made it through Shabbat itself. But the snow made Shabbat wonderful. I read and then took a long nap.
Last night we ordered burgers (I had chicken strips and fries) from Gators. The chicken strips were nice and crispy, fries, the burgers looked (and smelled) nice. It was a nice way to end the evening.
Since Friday afternoon, we have recieved between four to six inches of snow.
And it is still snowing.
So, today, I am working on my blogs, updating and downloading pictures.
Mark was right to send me out here: I am surrounded by people who know and love us both. I have family to talk to and yet if I need to be alone, I am given that space. I am getting a lot of work on Mark's quilt done. And enjoy getting to know the wolves better.
Yet, there are those moments, when I look out the window and see the wolves play, when I look at Pole mountain, which surrounds us, I cannot help but wish Mark was here to share it with me.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Snow in the Morning: Sun in The Afternoon

This morning we awoke to a grey morning, looking like snow.
A few hours later, as I was speaking to Mark, Aunt Michael called out that it was indeed snowing.
This is one of the pictures I took this morning.
It was such a peaceful scene. The wolves had theirs faces up at the falling white stuff.

Today, Jay and I are going to make wheat bread. It's good weather for homemade bread and will go great with the chicken soup I made last night.

Mark has arrived @ his new duty station. He's been there for a few days. He sounded so tired, but ready to dig into his new assignment. He's been sick for a few days; he says he is just run down and a good night's sleep will do him good.
His timing was perfect, for I am beginning to have the Deployment Blues. It is that depression that hits mid-way through the spouse's tour. And being here with family helps greatly. Aunt Michael and Uncle Jim keep me both busy and laughing. But they also encouge me to talk about me feelings and even encurage me to cry: a woman's tears are prayers G-d both understands and answers.
I cried this morning; and my beloved called.
His first words; Hey Beloved, how's my heart?"
How can you not love a guy like this?

Sunday, 17 January 2010

No Red Hoods

My bud Marty is concerned about the wolves.
The wolves are members of the family. Two of them are comfortable around me. The others, well it will take some time. The family has raised the wolves since they were three weeks old. If left on their own, the babies would become prey.
Yes, I am careful with them. But that is true of any animal. While the dog Blackie rmembers me, MayTag the cat and I are becoming fast friends. Though a first she was upset I was sitting in her favorite chair.
The only thing that would make this trip perfect; if Mark was here.

Mark's Quilt

Lailia Tov;
This afternoon, my sister Jay and I will do the laundry and I restart on Mark's quilt.
I have tried  several times, to work on it, but find myself in tears, too depressed to work on it. I just couldn't get motived to sew.
But here, I find the inspiration to create.
So this morning I pulled out the material, thread and needle, I also need to press some of the material.
It is a nice day for hand work. The sun is out, the snow is beginning to melt. The wolves are outside playing and the family is watching a murder mystery.
The wooden snow is heating the house and coffee is brewing.
The makings of a wonderful afternoon.

Friday, 15 January 2010

The Sun Slowly Rises

Boker Tov;
It is  nine am and the sun is finally up and out.
Like everything, the sun takes her sweet time rising and shining.
Yes Marty, it is cold. And I have already visited the Starbucks here. Today I hope to get pictures. Amoung my Hannuakkah gifts was a pair of army boots. They come in quite handy here.
Today, Jaylene (my sister/cousin) and I are going to Butte. This time I plan to take my trusty cameria. It is so beautiful and quiet here. I actually saw a little boy playing for a few minutes last night.
Last night we ordered pizza from Leaning Tower, and the pizza was awesome. Highly recommended.
Mark hasn't been transferred yet: it's looking like Sunday. But I am able to speak to him almost nightly.
Snow is expected this weekend, so it is a good time for doing some quilting.

There moments I feel guilty missing my beloved, given what is happening in Haiti. We are praying for the people, given donation and waiting word for friends we have there. This is one of the things that we as a nation do best; support other countries in their time of need. It is one of our strengths.
G-d bless and have mercy upon the people of Haiti.
G-d bless the rescuse workers, medical staff and others in Haiti as they You work through their hands.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Sun in Montana

Boker Tov:
The sun is shining this morning. And it looks so beautiful.
No, I still hate snow. But I can appreacte the beauty around me.
Maytag, (the black and white cat) is under the rocker, enjoying an mid-morning nap. The wolves are enjoying the snow, even rolling in the snow.
Aunt Michael says I look less stressed out.
Glad to hear that. And more importantly, I am even sleeping better.
Thinking even taking a nap this afternoon and do some reading.
There is a stillness, a quietness returning to my spirit, one I hadn't felt in a long time.
I really needed this trip.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Dialing Down

Laili Tov:
Well, it is my second day here in Montana and already, I feel my emotions dialing down.
Yesterday, Aunt Michael, Jaylene and I hung out.
Today, was a nice quiet day. I have gone through the material for Mark's quilt and will start on that in a day or two.
It is a nice, slow pace of life. No rushing or hurrys. And I am truly enjoying getting to know the wolves. And they are getting to know me..
I needed this down time, this peace. this quiet. And to have my toes licked by wolves.
And no, they are not tasting me.
Mark flew out today for his new post, so it will be  few days before I hear from him. He is doing well, very busy and still enjoying his work.
It is easier to deal with my emotions these past few days, feeling peace returning to my soul.
But I still miss my guy.

Shalom From Montana

Shalom everyone;
Well I finally made.

Mark made the arrangements and last Sunday morning I flew out to Montana.
First, let me begin with: I don't like traveling.
From Norfolk to New York wasn't so bad, and my hips did ok.
It was from New York to Denver that did me in.
From, one has to walk about 2 miles from upstirs, downstairs, wait for the A or B bur to take you to the other building. Then, it is upstairs and annother mile walk to your airline (my was untied) Once again, I had to take off my sneakers, take the laptop out and have my head papped down (since I cover my hair for religious reasons, I had to be to a small section and checked for bombs, weapons and such), then another 2 mile hike to the gate. One to learn 15 minutes before boarding that the gate was changed and one has to hurry to the new gate.
The flight from New York to Denver was the hardest, not just because it was over two hours long, but just the pain in my hips. I am so thankful I didn't have any leg cramps. Funny, I never sleep on airplanes, but this time I did and it helped.
In Denver I learned that it was 14 outside in Helena, Montana.
Good thing I wore my fur hat.
The flight from Denver to Helena was a short one, but I was ready for it to be over. I was tired. I was sore. I was hungry. And I was starting to get excited about seeing my family.
I will get a picture of the Montana Airport when I go home, but let's just say, you know your out West.
Uncle Jim met me at the Airport: I saw him just as I got off the plane, so I knew where he was.
I recieved that wonderful bear hug from Uncle Jim; yes my daughter is home, feel.
He have some stew waiting for me (I knew he would).
At one point he stopped the car and rolled down the windows.
A truck went pass and then.....silence.
I haven't silence in a very long time. The air is cold and yet crisp and clean. The sky black velvet and once could touch the stars.
The snow, pure white and clean, the moonlights shining upon the deer prints.
Uncle Jim told me as we drove home the stress of Mark being gone was on my face. It was his hope that he and the family could help ease it.
I believe with G-d's help, with G-d Himself, it will.
Mark called later, making sure I got in.
He said he feels better now that I am in Montana, knowing that I shall not only rest, but get spoiled.
Like I'm not spoiled already.
Pictures forth coming.
Love from Montana :)

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The First Shabbat of a New Year

The Great Snow Fall of Dec 2009
Lailia Tov;
Well it is the second day of the new year and the first shabbat.
It has been a quiet day; I spoke to my mum and Mark called. We got to talk for over an hour.
He is preparing to head for a new duty station.: he is so good at his job that he is now the Civil Affairs Officer not just his unit, but of the Battlement. While it means he won't be in the field as much, he wil actually be able to do far more to improve the lives of the people of Afghanistan, touching more lives, making more changes.
He flys out in a few days, so I will recieve a new adress to send mail and CarePackages.
Betty: Mark asked your forgivness for not writing back, he has been very busy, but once he gets to his new post, a letter to you and Koda is on the way.
I didn't have my cell phone with me Thrusday, but this would have been a picture to make Marty proud.
There is at our local Starbucks a very good-loooking guy. I mean the type that makes an old woman pray to be young again. Long, raven-black hair, beautiful blue eyes, moon shape face and a smile that could charm  a bear into giving up its honey jar. And what makes it even better, he doesn't know he is so fine.
But Mark has nothing to worry about. But if I wasn't married.....
Anyway, I first met him at a student concert a friend of my was conducting. A very nice, gentleman.
A full time student, during the summer, he works at our StarBucks. Well on this Thrusday afternoon, this sixty something lady decided to make a play for our 30 something Server. And I mean she wasn't taking no for an answer.
How I wish I had brought my cell phone to capture how the cougar lost her prey.
It was home charging.
My guess the lady was lonely and thankful that someone took the time to listen.
We are need that.
Well, it is down right cold tonight and I am making hot chocolate.
Hope all is well with you.