Such a City Girl

One of the things that surprised us, when we drove out to Montana the last week of August, was how dry the hillsides were.

Our first trip at the end of June looked like this (green, green, green, punctuated with bright bursts of blue and tipped with tiny white snow patches):


But our second trip at the end of August looked like this (brown, brown, brown, just like our So. Cal desert hills at home, and positively no snow in sight):


We also saw a lot of end-of-summer hay bales.

Some were classically rectangular, while others (like in the photo above) were cylindrical.

I was strangely excited to see these. For me, hay bales are simply decorations you see in Michaels Craft Store when fall begins to arrive. But out here — on these real ranches and farms – hay bales are … well … real.

I guess my slow realization of that fact, coupled with my giddiness at seeing them, tripled with the way I whipped my camera around each time, and quadrupled with the fact that I have several of these exactly-the-same pictures on my memory card (all taken between Idaho and Montana), probably give away the fact that I’m such a city girl, huh?

Sheesh. Silly city girls. …

The Magic of a Stage Performance

"The Jets" perform in West Side Story/ photo by Joan Marcus

[Snap-walk, snap-walk, snap-walk …]

Last weekend, Rene and I were graciously invited by my friend Debbie and her teenage daughter (and another friend of Debbie’s whom I know from the book club) to join them at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa to see West Side Story.

We had a great time — we had lunch at Boudin Sourdough Bakery and then walked across the bridge to the show. (No, we didn’t snap-walk like the Jets … but it was tempting. …)

And the show? It was terrific.

Debbie and her daughter, and Rene and I, have all done this before — we used to scout out local musicals to bring the girls (we used to go to an old dinner theater that used to perform here in OC, since the girls were about 6 or 7). We used to let them sort of dress up and take them out to eat and then enjoy the show. (They thought they were very fancy, getting to order Shirley Temples and desserts with chocolate drizzle.)  Continue reading

Instagrams: Very Cool App

First Day of School on The Oval, University of Montana -- Instagram by R. Sanchez

All right, I’m getting jealous of the iPhone now.

And no, not for its many apps, its smooth interface, its lovely graphics, or its powerhouse operating system – no, I’m jealous because one app in particular: Instagram.

Instagram is a photo-taking app that allows users to immediately apply filters to the photos and makes them look almost professional every time. Even folks who don’t know the first thing about photography can look like Ansel Adams right off the bat.

I showed off Ricky’s moody Instagram of the band and football players bursting out of the tunnel during the first football game here (and he hates taking photos, but this one was amazing). And my favorite blogger The Pioneer Woman even did a cute “Instagram Life in Rhymes” on her blog one day. The filters add a smoky, gritty, rich-colored layer to photos that give them an extra layer of feeling. Gah. I … just … want.Continue reading

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