Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's Official!

After trying for several years, and succeeding last year, I am once again going to do NaNoWriMo again this year.  There is a difference this year, I am going to be a Municipal Liaison for the Helena, Montana area!  

So what does it mean?  

In addition to trying and juggle work, school, family and writing 50,000 words in 30 days, I will be encouraging writers, hosting some get-togethers, cheering people on as they too try and reach 50,000 words in a month.

Wish us all luck!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sleep Habits Have Changed

For longer than I can remember, I have always been 'early to bed, early to rise' with my sleep habits.  But over the past few months, I notice I am staying up later and later (even with taking Benadryl) and now find 6:00 am a tad too early (thank you, dogs).

One thing I find myself doing is working with my pictures.  This is actually a way for me to unwind and relax.  Only problem is, I get to working with them and I forget about the time.

The first 'project' last night was to take my pumpkin and turn it into a mandala.  I haven't done one in awhile.

I like the way 'Purl' turned out.  Then I took a picture from about 10 years ago when I took the girls to Washington, D.C. for the day.  This was a picture of cherry blossoms hanging over the Potomac River.  I did some cropping and adjusting and some playing and came up with these.

These weren't even the effect I was trying for, but these are the ones I likes the best.  The top on looks more like a painting on canvas.  The bottom one is more of an abstract almost.  So now you know what I do in my spare time before bed....and it makes me stay up later than I want to!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tale of the Purloined Pumpkin

One thing I have learned from through the years, first at AA and now at the library, is that people don't always tell you the 'full' story.  In fact, the version you get might leave out a few details which are actually relevant.  Plus, I'm a parent.  You learn to tell when the story you are getting is not quite the story as it actually happened.  Case in point....

The Purloined Pumpkin

A young man came into the library, carrying the above pictured item.  He wanted to get a library card and was bragging about his 'watermelon' he had.  First off, my mouth could not stop from saying, "That's not a watermelon."  And secondly, why was he carrying around a pumpkin/watermelon anyway?

Turns out he lives just up the street from the library and had come down with his proof of residence he needed to get a card.  He had been in the day before and found out he didn't have what he needed, so he got it and was back today.  Fine and dandy.  When I started setting up his new card, his name and birthdate popped up as a duplicate.

I asked if he had a card here before, "No".  When I asked if he had ever lived on "X" street and, once again, he said "No". He needed to clue his buddy in on the story prior to standing in front of a third party.  Because buddy was saying, "yeah, that's where you lived while you were at home".  We finally get this all straightened out and he gets his card and he then turns his attention back to the pumpkin/watermelon.

"You sure it's not a watermelon?"
"Yes.  I'm a good Southern girl.  We know our watermelons.  That's a pumpkin."
"Oh.  So not a watermelon?"
"No.  It's an unripe pumpkin."
"Ok.  Here, you can have it."  and he turns and walks off with his DVD's we had been holding for him and I'm left staring at the pumpkin/watermelon.

So now I have an unripe pumpkin, which I know in my heart was removed from someone's yard, thinking he was getting a watermelon.  And somewhere, someone is standing in their garden, wondering where the heck their pumpkin went to.

In the meantime, post-it notes are being applied to the pumpkin.  Which is another story.....

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

I have MUCH more at stake this November than making my 50,000 words or not.  I signed up and was selected as a Municipal Liaison (ML) for Montana for the 2014 NaNoWriMo.  And since I am the only one anywhere near Helena.....(evil laugh) it's all mine.

One of the things I need to do in my duties is to plan a few meet ups and write ins, an opening and closing event, and generally, get this area ready for a fun month of writing our hearts out.  I am very, very lucky in that I have the support of the library and our Adult Services librarian, so a lot of my finding out where to go and who to talk to is already done.

The other half of my 'job' in November is my own writing.  I think I might have an idea of what I am going to write about this year, but it is still swirling around in my brain with a couple of other ideas.

What I do know is that I have to send my "Inner Critic" on vacation during November.  And one way I thought about do so was to actually create a tangible picture of said critic.  I was going to draw my critic and have it where I could put it away for the month of November.  And I wondered what he/she would look like.  Then I remembered this character from "Monster Inc."

Yep, Roz..that gravelly voice, paper pushing pain in Mike's ass.  See, she is even holding a pencil.  After I grabbed this image from the site, I realized she looked an awful like Mrs. Sutton, one of the senior English teachers in high school.

Mrs. Sutton taught the 'regular' English classes - in other words, non-honors classes.  I sat through two years of her classes because I was her teacher's assistant.  She was also the journalism sponsor and as editor of the paper - there I was.  And I can tell you, she was much, much tougher than the Honors English classes I was in.  She taught The Canterbury Tales in the Old English and you had to not only discuss it, but memorize and recite in front of the class.  I sweated for those kids in her class.  But she had the glasses, a dowager's hump and gray hair, pulled back in a bun.  Tall and skinny, she was Roz.

I have to send her on vacation in November for two reasons.  The first, I really don't want her correcting my English while I am writing whatever it is I am writing.  Secondly, I don't want her option of the events which come together by me.  I have enough 'everybody is going to laugh at/hate me' anyway without her two cents worth.

So "Roz Sutton", Inner Critic, is going on vacation in November.  Probably someplace warm.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Capping Off" My Birthday

Today is the big "57".  Ok, so it's not a milestone birthday.  But the good news is that I've made it through another year without killing anyone.  That's a good goal, right?

But to show that I haven't just been doing homework or playing with Lady K, I did manage to finish up this hat for a friend.

I had this huge ball of this bulky yarn in my stash.  The colors I had picked out to possibly do something for myself with.  You know how it is, you find some yarn you like, have no real plans for it and you get it, waiting for that perfect project.

Savvy is stuck being my model.  Only because she wants me to make her a new cap.  She's my 'the wilder the better' cap wearer.  She doesn't care if it looks like a fish, or a unicorn, she'll wear it.  Actually, she wants a 'beard' hat this winter...some of the implications are better left unsaid, a real inside joke.  But the cap is one of those 'slouchy' hats which are so popular.  I think if you have long hair it would be great, plenty of room to stick it without your hair getting plastered to your head. 

A simple cable design, knit in the round, so no seaming.  I hate seams.  The pattern I got off Ravelry.com and is Star Crossed Slouchy Beret by Natalie Larson .  I have it pulled really forward on Savvy's head, so the 'slouch' on mine isn't as pronounced.  And since Lady K was helping, my decreases were not quite as actuate as I would have liked.  But the hat is a beautiful combination of blues and purples and is soft and warm, which is all I really wanted.

On other WIP's....Dr. Who is about 600 rows long now, only about 1000 more to go!  I haven't been sitting and knitting much lately, but need to ramp it up.  Winter is coming and Savvy needs a new beard!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Command Central

Most of my 'free' time is spent at the computer.  By free time, I mean time not spent working, watching Lady K, cleaning house, cooking, reading or hiking (not enough of that I can say).  My computer is where homework is accomplished, digital art is created, some writing is done, paperwork is taken care of...you get the general idea.

It takes up about the only open spot in my room.  I have a little desk, big enough for my computer and some stacks of 'stuff', my coffee cup or glass of iced tea, a pad of paper and a cup of pens.  I do have some files in a drawer (if I can keep Lady K out of them) and a drawer which was used for pens and pencils.  But Lady K feels they are there for her to (1) throw them on the floor all over the apartment or (2) draw on things - like walls.  So they are now semi-hidden from her.  But on the walls and doors around my computer I have notes and pictures and 'stuff'. 

Directly over my computer on the wall is my bulletin board.

It contains pictures of my digital art covered up with lists of books, scissors (to keep them out of you-know-who hands), my MLA format quick reference for school and some other odds and ends I need to refer to occasionally. 

To my left is my closet doors.  A set of those lovely, hinged folding doors.  Their only redeeming factor is that they don't take up unnecessary room.  And they do provide a place to hang postcards I have received, mainly from Postcrossing. 

And then to my right is my bedroom door.  Since it is open most of the time and right up by the desk, I am using it as a 'wish board'.

Can you tell I need bras?  Desperately?  There is also a color code reminder for the colors I use on my google calendar online for everyone's schedule (since I have to coordinate not only mine, but Savvy, Texter and Lady K's), a list of my classes I am taking this semester for easy email reference.  And things I need/want/desire which are pretty immediate in need....like electric blankets and a really good, big skillet.

So this is where it all attempts to get done...sometimes...hopefully...It's not the 'zen' bedroom I would ultimately love to have.  But that would take another room in the house just for an office/craft room, of which we don't have.  For now, this works well for me.  Oh, and anyone feel free to take an index card and gift me with what's on it!  Except the bras...I'll get my own.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pre-Birthday Taking Stock

Water on Weeds Mandala

On the 16th I'll be 57.  Yep, 57.  Some days it 'seems like yesterday'.  Other days...well, it seems like forever.  I'm not sure how one is suppose to feel at 57.  I do know I giggle to myself at times when I refer to some of the patrons at the library as "the little old man" or "the elderly woman" and realize, technically, I could be in that group.

Problem is, I still don't know what I want to do with my life.  I still feel like I have a lot of growing up to do.  At the same time, I don't want to stop growing as an individual.  I don't want to stop doing and exploring and learning.  In fact, I feel more inclined to do that more now than in the past.

So, I'm taking a moment (as my homework is caught up) to take stock again and update what is going on in my life.  This is the list I made at the end of June and the purple is where I am today...

Making :  a Dr. Who scarf
Making: hat for co-worker in chemo therapy.  Dr. Who still a WIP
Cooking : soft pretzels
Cooking:  Beer bread to see (1) how it tastes and to (2) use up some old beer
Drinking : sweet iced tea (should be more water!)
Drinking:  too much coffee and not enough water
Reading: Skin Game by Jim Butcher and about 40 other books 
Reading: Mercedes Lackey Blood Red and about 50 other books
Wanting: to be 'doing' something
Wanting: to get my photographs more organized
Looking: at clouds
Looking: for motivation
Playing: Facebook games way to much
Playing: the same....
Deciding: to cut down on the above
Deciding: the same....and more writing
Wishing: I had more motivation these past few days
Wishing: I had my photographs culled and organized 
Enjoying: summer in Montana
Enjoying: fall in Montana and awaiting winter
Waiting: for August 1st and Savvy moves here 
Waiting: for our first 'good' snow and Savvy's reaction
Liking: where I am now
Liking: that we are all together 
Wondering: what I can do to make it better
Wondering: the same...
Loving: life
Loving: the same...
Pondering: more exercise in my life
Pondering: the same....Savvy's suppose to be making me exercise more 
Considering: cutting out 'waste of my time' activities (Facebook games and TV)
Considering:  the same...
Watching: Major Crimes and Murder in the First (Draco is a bad guy again)
Watching: not much TV, too much homework
Hoping: I can find a routine to get into
Hoping: Yep...the same
Marveling: how good life really is now 
Marveling: we are all back under the same roof and not killing each other
Needing: to cut out procrastinating 
Needing: the same...
Smelling: 'Spring' - a candle from Bath and Body Works
Smelling: realizing as of yesterday we are pretty much out of candles and need more
Wearing: my grinch pj bottoms and t-shirt
Wearing: my long sleeve, mid-calf nightgown (it's heavy) and a pair of sweat pants
Following: way too many blogs
Following: this season's Dr. Who
Noticing: the sound of the wind and how cold it sounds
Noticing: too much traffic on the road for a Saturday morning
Knowing: Savvy will be here soon 
Knowing: will have to 'get busy' soon 
Thinking: I shouldn't have eaten those two soft pretzels
Thinking: about a menu plan for the rest of the week
Feeling: blah....
Feeling: achy (slept funny) and stiff
Admiring: both my daughters
Admiring: the same...
Sorting: through piles of papers to organize and file/toss
Sorting: did do that, now I need to work on my documents and photos on my computer
Buying: iPads
Buying: Savvy a mattress
Getting: ready for drive to Arizona
Getting: ready for NaNoWriMo in November
Bookmarking: Galadarling and her July instagram challenge
Bookmarking: Photoshop tutorials
Disliking: my legginess
Disliking: not having ready money to spend on 'whatever'
Opening: my mind to other options in my life 
Opening: my calendar and seeing what needs to be done this week
Giggling: at Lady K's dance moves 
Giggling: at life
Feeling: like change is just around the corner
Feeling:  the same....

So today I will work on my calendar, plan some postings, finish a cap and hopefully, go for a walk with Lady K.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Homework - It's All Black and White

This week we worked on taking some color pictures (either ones the instructor provided or we could use our own) and convert them to black and white or split-tone or duotone pictures.  I had a ball with this assignment, first picking out some pictures and then working through the various exercises.

Here are a couple of my finished products...

Little Blackfoot Meadows creek crossing

Mountains around Morrell Falls 

Detail from Atlas Building, Last Chance Gulch, Helena, MT

Beargrass in Bloom

Big Sky Country!

For the 'full' story, you can check out all the before and after pictures (and more pictures) on my Behance portfolio.

Queen of the Tearling - Great Read


I had seen some 'blurbs' about this book, but hadn't really paid all that much attention to the premise of the novel.  In fact, I had it checked out once, read about 3 chapters and had to turn it back in for someone else.  I just got it back a couple of days ago and picked up where I left off.  I am really glad I did....

First off, it took me a bit to realize the book is set in our future, about 300 years in the future.  There was a group of people who left the techno world and sailed off to create a new world.  This new world is without technology and in fact, if you are like me and don't read the jacket, the book reads very much like a medieval fantasy setting.  Throughout the book there are little hints of 'electronic books', 'J. K. Rowling', 'computers', all of which don't exist any more.  And seeing that Emma Watson is set to play, Kelsea, the Queen, the reference to Rowling is humorous.

So here goes the storyline....

Kelsea Raleigh, is the 19 year old daughter of the late Queen of Tearling.  She has been hidden away all these years and is now brought to New London to ascend the throne.  But not everyone is thrilled to have her appear after all these year, least of all the Red Queen in the adjoining nation of Mortmesne.  The Red Queen has been keeping Tearling under her thumb for decades and making slaves of it's people, one of the first things Kelsea aims to stop.  With the aid of the remnants of the Queen's Guard, Kelsea must learn to protect herself, her kingdom and figure out what the two blue sapphires she has can really do.  As Kelsea grows and learns, so do we readers.

The book ends on an exciting note--crisis temporarily averted, Tearling poised to be invaded by a superior army, and Kelsea finding out yet another thing the sapphires can do.  Oh, and this is book 1 in a trilogy (of course!)

Now we have to wait for the next two books to find out exactly what is up with the sapphires and the Queen of Tearling, what the 'deal' is with the Red Queen, will Tearling fall to Mortmesne, will Kelsea even survive the attempts on her life (of course she will) and will Tearling survive Kelsea.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Moon-set on Pre-Harvest Moon

With the dogs restless at about 5:40 a.m., I pulled on my sweats and leashed them up for an early morning 'p & p' run.  A month ago, I would be in daylight, but it was still dark Monday morning.  As I patiently (and half asleep) waited for them to finish up, I noticed the setting moon - very full, very round, very yellow, very pretty....

And it was setting behind the hills across from the apartment.  Actually, when I first saw it, the moon was still up.  It took me and the dogs a bit to get inside and grab the camera and get onto the balcony without waking Lady K.

Then I started writing this post and wanted to know a little about what this moon was called, and came across this article.  I was just going to link it, but then in reading the article I had to start laughing.

I bet you didn't know this!  According to the article.....

"Any full moon, but especially supermoons, look their biggest when they rise. The moon always rises in the east."

So the Harvest Moon, as this moon is called, rose in the East and set in the West.  I wonder, with the lunar eclipse next month, where the moon will rise. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Moving Experience

Sunday mornings are generally my 'peaceful' time....a little coffee, a little internet surfing, a little reflecting on the week past and the week ahead, just a nice, quiet time (depending on Lady K's cooperation, of course).  So last Sunday I heard a bit of noise on the road outside my balcony.  Generally, from about 6am-8am and then again from about 430pm-630pm is the morning rush and there is a bit of traffic noise.  But on Sunday morning, not so much.  When I opened by balcony door to see what was going on, I saw this going by...

It was slowly creeping down the road with a vanguard of trucks and 'helpers' along the way.  I called to Texter (who happened to be up) and Lady K to watch the procession down the road. As you can see, the building takes up two lanes and the shoulder of the road on both sides.  And it had come from about a mile and a half away.

We watched as they carefully raised power lines and it inched along.  Then came the exciting part, the turn!  Of course, this was about the 4th or 5th turn it had already made getting here, but this was the one I could watch.

The building was slowly inched around the corner onto the area which will be it's new home.  Don't know why they moved it or what it will be used for, but it was interesting none the less. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

More Photoplay

I had to try out a tutorial I came across recently.  And since I didn't have a picture of some glamorous model with windblown hair to try out the techniques on, I used a picture of Lady K.

This is Lady K enjoying Tizer Gardens this spring.  She likes rocks.  Any kind of rocks.  

And this is the finished photo with filters and overlays and 'brushes' applied.  I love learning new things I can do with Photoshop.  Now if I could just sit down and get all my pictures organized!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Photoplay and Homework

One thing about my graphic arts classes is they do inspire me to experiment on my own pictures more.  I learn something new and then have to try it out a few times.  

My latest homework assignment in one class was to process a picture and then highlight the dominate seagull.

Before picture we had to work with

"After" seagull.  Only problem is that Texter hates seagulls.  She was abused by a seagull as a young child. 

So that, lead to this....

Before picture of an orchid

Now onto more homework.....

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Spotted Photo Theme - September

This is the 'purple' spotted photo theme for September.  As I said yesterday, I alternate between green and purple.  While I don't have a 'green' outfit, I do have a few purple things to wear.  Purple to me is tranquil, creative, and inspiring.  Of course, purple has always been associated with royalty.   

The sad thing about this collage is while I was putting it together I realized we had in fact 'lost' 2-3 bins during our last move and the picture of the woman, created by a friend, was lost.  

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Spotted Photo Theme - September - Color

I have been busy with homework and just got another BIG project I am working on (more about that later), but tried to slip in the September Spotted Photo Theme started by iHanna.

So, I actually have two favorite colors I waffle between.  One is purple (and I hope to do a quick collage on that) and the other is green.

I have tons and tons of pictures of landscapes and plants and even some of my plates and curtains and towels are green.  To me, green is all about growth and renewal and the earth.  But I don't really wear much green...hmmmm.

Thursday, September 04, 2014


Anyone who knows anything about me and my household, know we are all pretty.....well, unusual.  For one thing, don't bother us on Saturday evening about 6pm as we are gearing up for both dinner and Dr. Who.  Yes, we are serious "Whovians".

Which has lead to a discussion between Savvy and myself, USA TV or BBC TV?  I have to say it would be BBC TV all the way.  And the reason I have definitely come to this conclusion is this show...

Yep, a show about cars.  

Now first let me state, I could give a rat's butt about cars.  They are simply a means to get from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time and with a reasonable amount of lack of effort.  Particularly for someone who comes from areas which are known for their lack of public transportation (Texas and North Carolina), I have a genuine lack of interest in cars, trucks, 4-wheelers, etc.  I do show an interest in bicycles, but that's only because some of them come with men in spandex in large quantities.  But if you could see the condition of my car, you would understand my feelings about car.  Thousands of bugs have died for the look of my car right now.  Just waiting for rain to wash them away!

So I have started watching Top Gear.  I am behind Savvy in my viewing of this program and I can't believe I have not watched it all this time.  Even if, like myself, you can barely tell the difference between a station wagon and a VW beetle, this show is funny.  And not in a crotch-grabbing, bathroom humor we "Yanks" like to roll in.  Yes, there is mention of bullocks, balls and testicles, but it is so much more elevated than what we get here in the states....or it could just be the accent.  

But overall, if I had to restrict myself to one viewing area, it would be British shows.  I am fond of NCIS, Castle, Bones, Big Bang Theory and Chopped and I will watch them over and over again.  However, give me Downton Abbey, Dr. Who, Sherlock, Top Gear and I am in heaven.  Throw in access to shows like Midsommer Murders, Rosemary and Thyme, Foley's War...the list goes on and on.

One thing which draws me into British shows, besides their humor being a bit elevated, is they don't have to have the cutest, perkiest, youngest, 'who's the hottest looking' babe/dude out their as the star of the show.  They go for the actor rather than the face.  And when you are a woman of a certain age, whose body shows that certain age, you really appreciate watching someone who looks a lot like you in age and body type.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Playing Means Changing the Look

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, when I start working on 'homework', I also start bookmarking over pages to come back to and check out.  In this case it is creating a neat text design which I made into my new header.

It was easy enough to do, but a bit time consuming with all the letters involved.  I found the tutorial on Photoshop Roadmap.  The bad thing about it is I also found some other text to play with, so my header may be changing up a bit over the next few weeks.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Project 1 - Typographic Resumes

It is really funny one of my first projects this semester is a resume.  I have created resumes for both Texter and Savvy recently.  Both of those were the traditional resumes.  In this graphic design class we were told to create a 'typographic' resume - which basically means - it's not your regular resume.
The project entailed creating drafts of 5 or more resumes and then polishing up one of them as the final resume.

Here are the roughs - 

My thought here was to replace the titles with the sections of the resume.

For a more vintage look. 

Following the lines in the rocks

Using one of my photos again, converted to black and white, and my name tumbling down the waterfall.

Old paper on a wooden background

The one I went with.  Using one of my pictures I altered digitally and placed on the background as a divider between the sections of the resume and the details.

It's going to be a fun semester!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fractal Play

One problem with the assignments from school is I often have to go on the internet to learn how to or remember how to do a certain task in one of the Adobe programs.  When I do that, I often find myself distracted by some of the things I find along my way.  Case in point - creating my own fractals.

I love them....all spirally.

It's bright.  And has spirals.  And it was a basic, quick lesson on how to create them.  Fun enough I have several ideas in my head for some more (better) ones.  But this is 'Fractal 1'.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Admission and Acceptance

I think one of the hardest things anyone who is 'creative' can do is to actually stand up and say "I am an artist" or "I am a writer", out loud and for the world to hear.  A few years ago, I literally did that - stood up and acknowledged I am an artist.  

This admission came under fire recently and I had to step up and really put my money where my mouth is.  A lady had come into the library a few weeks ago and was checking out 2-3 books on Photoshop.  We got to talking and I told her I knew Photoshop and if she had any questions, I would be glad to help if I could.  I gave her my website and we parted ways.

The two weeks ago I got a phone call at the library.  It was this same lady who wanted me to tutor her in Photoshop basics.  It seems she is an artist who had entered a show and needed to do some things in Photoshop for this show.  She had an additional issues in that she could only spend about one hour a day in front of the computer due to eye issues.  She wanted my help and would pay me for tutoring her.

I was extremely flattered and all puffed up as I hung up the phone and then my 'inner critic' paid a call too.  Who was I to think I knew anything about Photoshop and especially to get paid to pass on that lack of knowledge?  But I went anyway and much to my surprise and delight, I did know at least the basics and could answer her questions!

Next week with be three lessons in Photoshop I will have tutored.  Next week also starts school again and a couple of the books for my graphic arts classes are looking so yummy!  I can't wait to play again and learn some more techniques.

This experience puts me one step closer (I think) to actually looking at putting my artwork out into the world.  Maybe...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Brewfest Mandala

Today school starts again.  And while I am excited about the prospect of another semester, I am still basking in the glow of Saturday.  It was fun on several different levels and a great intro for Savvy into the kind of opportunities which abound here in Montana.  

Off to study!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Helena 150 Birthday Brewfest Volunteering

One of the things the girls and I did over the years was to volunteer for things we liked to do.  We enjoyed the Ren Faire and volunteer over several years.  Not only was it something we enjoyed, but by volunteering, some of the costs of going to it were not there.  When you are a single mom, 'free' means a lot.  Time I had, money I didn't always have.

So when Savvy moved here (2 weeks ago) and I realized she enjoyed craft beer and we saw this sign for the Helena 150 Birthday Brew Fest, I checked it out.  Boy, $20 per person to get in.  BUT....if you volunteered you got in free and only had to work a 3 hour shift, which would leave you 3 hours to sample the different beers. 

Saturday dawned and it was promising to be a beautiful day.  Not too hot, no rain, sunny, light breeze - perfect day for being outside.  And the event was held only a short walk away from the house (that way I didn't have to worry about parking or driving when I possibly shouldn't - just in case).

We were assigned to work as servers at Quarry Brewing, out of Butte.  First off, the owner and brewer, Chuck Schnabel, was great.  He explained the 4 beers he had brought with him and let us taste each one.  Then I finally got an explanation of what an IPA beer was.  And then the fun began!

Chuck, owner and brewer, on the left.

Savvy really got into the whole event.  If she had been selling, rather than giving away the beer, we would have made a fortune.  Frankly, I started getting worried that Chuck was going to load her up and take her back to Butte with him to work.  (And what's really funny is that Chuck's father-in-law, Butch, was there visiting...from Arizona.  Like a couple of blocks away from where Savvy use to work. Can you say really small world?)

I learned that I like an "Irish Red", something malty, rather than something 'hoppy', like an IPA.  The venue where the event was held was great, and the crowd wasn't a 'spring-break' type crowd.  More mellow and less barely 21-ish.  The music was good and upbeat, mainly country.  I also learned that there wasn't enough food vendors to go around and the ones there were running out of food.

We had to wait almost an hour and a half to get our 3 tacos at 6pm.  They were good though and luckily the food truck we got them from parks out by the library every week.  My job was to bring Savvy different beers while she was in line.  There is a whole vocabulary involved with craft beer and it's really fun learning all about good beers.

Our swag from the event, beyond not having to pay $20 to get in, was an event t-shirt, a tasting glass, a t-shirt from Quarry Brewing, several bumper stickers and coasters from the different breweries.  The coasters interest me from an artistic/design point of view too.  And pork bones.  We were the first people to go over and ask the BBQ people, as they were stripping the pig, if we could have bones for our dogs.  Frankly, when we asked I think people in line were thinking they could gnaw on them until they got their food.

We are already eyeing the Montana Brewers Fall Festival in Missoula in October.  It's only 2 hours away!