After a 14 month hiatus, I am returning to writing. I have some stories to tell, some lessons I have learned, and much I have been thinking about. Stay tuned!
Happy Saturday! I was headed out on errands, including a trip to a local farmer’s market. It was a bit chilly, and I decided to wait out the sprinkly rain storm at Clyde’s Coffee. I hadn’t been in there in a while. It is a pleasant little coffee shop in our ‘south of downtown’ area. It is a popular study spot for university students. It is close to campus and the areas where many of the students live.
On a summer Saturday, studying was at a minimum, but people wandered in. I really enjoyed my visit. It is a pleasant shop. I had breakfast and coffee. I am glad I stopped in. The rain stopped, sun came out and I continued across the bridge to the market. Didn’t buy anything, but spent a pleasant time wandering around. People watching, looking at everyone’s produce. Almost bought some huckleberries-maybe next week.
Have a great weekend.
Adding bonus shots this week! These are ‘on my way’ to & from the market. I crossed the bridge twice, once on the east side, and once on the west side.
The away from….includes the river, and the shots that caught my interest on the ‘other’ side.
And finally….. a couple of market shots. Lots of people, lots of goodies…
Our town is nicknamed ‘The Garden City’. There was a time when there were large truck gardens here. We now have many, many gardens…enough nearby gardens to fill two Saturday Farmer’s Markets, and flower gardens galore. We also love to ‘decorate’ street corners in town and all around with small (and not so small gardens) Here are a couple of shots of those gardens…
We revel in summer’s color!
This post has been simmering for quite a while. I have been entertaining a multitude of thoughts these last few weeks. One of the purposes of this blog is to inspire me to take a closer look at my hometown. I have lived in the same town for all of my life. I haven’t done a lot of traveling. I would love to travel, but free time and $$ curtail that.
I live in a lovely city in Montana. We are in the Rocky Mountains. I work in the service industry-as a motel desk clerk. I meet many fascinating people. So, people I have met, things I have seen fuel my meandering thought process. Buckle in…
I have been noticing the ‘little’ things. We have flower barrels at the motel. We plant flowers there every year. Flowers, particularly pansies, get the reputation of being delicate, weak, BUT they are anything but….the seeds fall, and they search out any place to grow. They amaze me with their determination!
I also love to watch the birds. Our town has many trees, and the birds nest in them. They also nest in store signs, any part of building where they can sneak in and nest. I am sure we have a nest in the overhang at the motel. I can hear the birds singing, but that nest is well hidden. Adaptability is a key to survival. All of nature understands this, but why are some humans so reluctant to admit it? I look back at who I was in my 20’s, 30’s, and early 40’s….I like who I became (and am still becoming) in my later 40’s, 50’s & now early 60’s.
I had a bit of scare last week. To begin the story, I have to go back to a clumsy fall I took. I wasn’t hurt seriously, avoided a concussion, but I reawakened an old whiplash injury. So…last week, I was driving home from work. It had been a crazy, interesting, but not stressful night. All of the sudden my left arm starts going totally numb. I panic, pull over, adjust my seat belt and feel better. Still in panic mode, I go home. My heart rate is normal, I feel ok, and am setting down from the ebbing scare. It happens the next morning when I buckle my seat belt. The seat belt is pinching off a nerve. I fix it, and now realize what happened the previous evening. I decided then at there that I need to start taking a daily walk, to fight my mostly sedentary life style. I challenged myself to take daily walks, and post photos to Instagram and Facebook. My way of holding myself accountable.
I walking in my neighborhood, the new recreation fields, the downtown Saturday markets, I am staying in touch with my town, with people’s lives. I am also enjoying books on Audible as I walk. So…a win/win.
Some of my neighborhood walk photos…
And then they are doing massive additions to a complex of sporting fields. They used to have a small walking trail, a few baseball diamonds and a tennis court. NOW….it has tripled or quadrupled in size. It looks like great fun. They have all kinds of new walking trails, several playgrounds, large picnic area. I took a few photos.
I look forward to exploring this new area in the future.
I love the lavendar plant/herb. I love the fragrance, use it to safeguard my wool yarn from moths, have a few plants growing in a pot. I have discovered that many of my fellow townsfolk love the plant, and I have seen it growing in many gardens. The bees love it also. Many hives have lavender flavored honey.
Today’s walk was downtown. We have bar that has been here for more years than I can count. It is a working man’s place, and is known for its ‘brains & eggs’. They also believe in beautifying the area outside of the bar. I love to visit and see each year’s flower offerings. I am hoping to keep up this walking and observing habit. Since sharing encourages me, I will be sharing some of my daily walks with you.
I had a great cup of coffee and a wonderful chocolate treat at Drum Coffee yesterday. Drum is a fun stop. The Coffee shop is owned by a drummer for a well known band. They play great music at both locations, but the emphasis is not on the owner, but on the shop.
I stopped at the premier location yesterday. I hadn’t been by in a while. It was good to reconnect. The shop is bright with natural light. They also have a great patio for outdoor seating. They take a unique look at the treats they serve. Shortbread with bits of Greek Olives, chocolate ‘beet’ cake, great salads and sandwiches.
When they opened their second location, which I will revisit soon, they installed a coffee roaster at that location. They now serve their own roasted coffee, sell their whole beans, and are looking at other outlets to sell it. I am so happy to see them growing and thriving.
They also believe in giving back to the community. When you stop in and buy a cup of coffee you can take a wooden token. There are three glass containers, each one has the name of a local charity on it. You can then drop your token in the container of your choice. At the end of the quarter, a portion of the profits is donated to each charity based on the number of tokens. It is great fun to give a little back, somehow it makes your coffee taste better. It is also a great way to learn about a charity you might previously been unaware of.
I didn’t have my knitting with me, but Drum is a great place to knit. I chatted with the manager, enjoyed my coffee and read my Kindle.
I love the idea of local business, and they are my preferred places to support. I will also stretch that local to my state. If a business opened originally in another part of the state and opens a location here, I will make sure to try them out.
Local businesses help paint the portrait of your town. They are unique, and should celebrate all the things that make your town yours. Please patronize and celebrate your local places.
When I travel I love to go to the local places I can find. They create great memories, and help me learn a bit about the town I am in. If I had unlimited funds and time for travel, I would visit specific places and live like a citizen of the place for a few weeks or months. I would explore and celebrate the places that make that city unique.
Celebrate uniqueness! Celebrate differences! Leave judgemental attitudes behind!
Here are few pictures.
Early in April a friend had a birthday. I have known her since she was around 12. When my second son was born, she adored him, and loved to be his big sister. She is now a lovely woman, with a family of her own. I wanted to find this photo so I could attach it to her Facebook page for her birthday.
That plan hatched an enormous project! I couldn’t find that photo. I went through ALL of my photos and decided that this would never happen again! I was going to scan all of my photos, so that I didn’t lose them again. I did find that photo in one of the last places I looked.
This project is great fun. I scan a few every day. I save them to Google Photos so that I can share them. My family has links to everything, and I think they are enjoying this project as much as I am.
If I am quiet here on WordPress, it’s because I am putting together my photo history. I will share a few of the photos here. These photos don’t show any of my family because I refuse to post pictures of them without their permission. These photos are just various ones I have snapped-usually because it caught my attention.
I am not a mall shopper, but I do stop by the mall once or twice a year. I usually stop to make sure I till don’t want to shop there. Today, I stopped by, and I still don’t want to shop there. I did however get coffee and breakfast at Cafe Dolce. We have two stores in Missoula. I have already reported on the main store. This one is in the mall. It is smaller and they have a different menu.
It is nice to sit in the mall area and watch the shoppers. That is usually what I do. Saturday morning wasn’t super busy. I am sure many shoppers were waiting for the afternoon.
I enjoyed the coffee, breakfast croissant and brownie. It was a nice stop before errands, and before work.
I have been busy scanning photos to share with my family. That has kept me busy. I have photos going back a ways, and it is an interesting project. It stirs up lots of memories. So, writing, knitting, scanning and organizing photos-I have been busy.
I am trying to decide on the next Coffee, Coffee, Coffee visit. I am excited to share it with you.
I am still here. I have been doing some cogitating. You will probably be treated to the results of this cogitating when I get into legible thought. I have also been sorting through photos, and learning how to scan and save. Will share some of those photos, too. They do fit into my thinking.
I haven’t visited a new coffee place yet. I am trying to decide which one I want to visit next.
It is amazing what starts working in your heart and mind when viewing 50+ years of photos. Some of those photos are of me, my growing up, my high school years, and most of them are of my kids, places we have been, events that have happened.
As usual, this started because a good friend had a birthday. I remembered a specific photo I wanted to share with her. I started going through all of my photos. I never did find that photo, but I found so much more! Little by little, those photos are being scanned into my computer. I will then save most of them to flash drives for my kids. I haven’t decided what I will do with the actual photos. In this day and age, it is good to have electronic copies of them, also. Everything I save into my computer also goes into the cloud.
Saving photos and blogging fit into my desire to record life. My life, life going on around me. Recording life, living life, enjoying life!
You will be hearing more from me about these photos, and I will be sharing some of them. I am sharing some flower photos because in many parts of the US we are experiencing ‘The Winter that will not End!’ I live in a pocket of Montana where spring is trying harder than other places, but we aren’t there yet. So, in hopes, sharing some color. The large photo below is from just a few days ago. It is lavendar. I accidentally left the pot out last fall. I went over to check on it, and the lavendar wintered over! It is the first time I have been able to save it. When I had a ‘real’ garden, it was never an issue, but with a flower pot garden, it has been. I think my mistake was in trying to winter it over in the house. This lavendar is alive and waiting for spring with the rest of us.
I am back with another coffee report. I had a post planned for last week, but my plans were changed abruptly. I postponed my trip. I spent this week deciding where to go next. I have a good list full of options.
Today I went to Buttercup Market. I took some knitting, and my Kindle. I haven’t been here for a while, but it was good to re visit. It is a pre-requisite of coffee shops that the baristas must be friendly. Buttercup Market scored well.
Buttercup Market is near campus, and on a ‘non Easter’ Saturday I am sure it would be crowded. I wasn’t alone there, but I did have my pick of tables. There were three girls near by, and I heard them say they were all invited to an ‘Easter’ sleepover. It sounded like great fun.
I also ran into a dear friend, and we had a great talk. I got some knitting done, and enjoyed reading my Kindle. I go to coffee shops and local restaurants to be near people, but not have to interact with them if I want to. I work a job that is customer service/people heavy. Down time is re-charge time.
In a world that is full of ‘sameness’ it is such a delight to explore those places in my town, that are unique to my town. I have said I will not profile Starbucks, because to me, if you have been to one, you have seen them all. They have done a good job of promoting coffee places, but in my town, we have had local coffee places for many years. I first enjoyed my coffee and great times with friends in a coffee shop in the early 80’s. It had been there before that, but we started visiting it on Friday afternoons then. I will visit it again soon, and give you a report.
Celebrate and enjoy the places, the scenery, the people that make your town uniquely your town and your home. Happy Saturday!
There is something about those first scents of spring. Those hopeful signs that it will return one more time. I have to change things up to match the new growth coming outside. So—-I changed my blog site a bit. A few tweaks, and voila! A slightly new appearance.
I am still continuing my Coffee, Coffee, Coffee series. It is great fun to write. I have to decide which place to explore next.
Happy Monday! A hope of spring, design changes all deserve a riot of colors…
I met my friend at the Liquid Planet today. The Liquid Planet is the home base store. This store opened in the late 90’s or early 2000’s. It had a unique idea-beverages of all kinds from all over the world. They sell coffees, teas, beers, wines, juices, bottled waters from all over the world-a liquid planet. They sell their own coffee mugs and other accessories. It is worth exploring.
They are a great coffee shop. People chat, read, study. It is downtown and gets people stopping in from work, shopping or the Farmer’s Markets on summer Saturdays. My daughter and I were there on a now infamous Monday night in 2016 when we had a major storm with category 1 hurricane force winds. It was one of these events that forever after you remember it by where you were. My daughter and I were at Liquid Planet.
I mention frequently that we are lucky to have many local coffee shops, bistros, cafes and other gathering places. The employees must be friendly. The baristas today were great. There is music playing, but the music doesn’t overwhelm. The coffee is tasty. They sell baked goods and sandwiches, also.
Lorelai Gilmore didn’t know what she was missing. She had Luke’s Diner, and occasionally one other shop. We have many wonderful shops, each one fits a mood, a need. I enjoy sharing them with you.
Local is always interesting. I regret that so many chains have done so much to choke out the great local places. We live in a world where sameness is prized and uniqueness is scorned.
I have settled into a rut. When I decided to do this blog series, I realized it would start to force me out of my rut. It would give me something to share, and unexpectedly has made me think beyond a cup of coffee.
Happy Sunday! Enjoy your beverage of choice.