Feliz Navi Doug

This is my friend Doug.

And this is my friend Doug on a pillow.

In preparation for our annual White Elephant Christmas party, I wanted to come up with a goofy gift that topped last year’s sexy fireman puzzle of my friend Kim. (That’s a bit of a story.) With help from Doug’s wife Chelsey, and a bit of graphic editing, I came up with this. I’m pretty pleased, and I’m looking forward to the moment when some unwitting soul opens the gift and Doug sees it…


When you have married kids, they have to perform the annual “holiday juggle”, splitting time between families. This year happens to be an in-laws Christmas, meaning Alex and Kaitlyn will be with her family. Since we can lay claim to Thanksgiving, we invited all the kids to come up to Montana for the week. Julian came out as well, and we had a full house.

There were, naturally, a lot of board games. Zack’s wearing a scarf because he had a head cold and felt like his mouth kept getting dry. Apparently wearing a scarf kept his lips and mouth moist?

There were some intense games of Mario Kart. We talked about having a family tournament, but let’s be honest: Zack and Kyra are the undisputed champions, and leave the rest of us in the dust.

Ollie loved having all the space in our house. It’s a nice change from the somewhat cramped quarters he’s used to in the college apartment. He also decided he liked his noodle bowl better as a hat than a bowl.

On Thanksgiving Day, it was all hands on deck as we prepared the meal. Everyone chose a favorite dish and was responsible for making it. But now that I think about it, I don’t remember Alex actually choosing or making anything. Instead, he kind of hung around the kitchen and sampled everything else…

Although they were here for almost a week, the time flew past and before we knew it, everyone was heading back to Utah and Washington. We snapped one last photo before the group split up.

As always, I’m eternally grateful for these good folks in my life. It’s nice to be reminded to be thankful.


It’s cold today. After a week of 30-degree-ish weather (and a lot of snow), the mercury dropped into the teens. Today I was driving along Flathead Lake and saw water condensing on the water. As I write that, it sounds weird, but maybe this picture will help:

A few miles to the south is a great outlook over the lake, and I was able to capture a shot showing all the wisps of cloud sliding across the lake:

My cell phone camera doesn’t really do justice to it, but it was cool to watch this evanescent fog moving with the wind.

So much for those fall colors

Today we woke up to a bit of a surprise. I mean, sure, the forecast called for the possibility of rain mixed with snow, but we had six inches of the white stuff on the ground, and more piling up!

I went out to shovel some of it, because it’s the super wet heavy sort of snow. Better to push my way through six inches of it now, then do another six later.

Solar production is a bit down today as well…

Later today we’ll make our first test of the paved driveway with a ton of snow on it…

Fall colors

When we returned from our road trip, we were surprised to see very few trees had turned color. Of course, the majority of this area is blanketed in fir and pine, so it’s green year-round. But the larch are typically a spectacular yellow, and we didn’t see much sign of that.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and the trees are in full fiery color. Here’s one at my friend Doug’s house:

On the highway along the lakeshore, there’s a stretch that’s simply astonishing. I took these photos from a speeding car on a mostly cloudy day, so they don’t really do justice to the incredible yellows.

Back home, we have splashes of color all around us. Here’s a bush alongside our driveway:

And the national forest behind the house:

I’ve been hoping for a sunny day so I can go out and take some amazing photos, but it’s not in the cards. The forecast has been basically clouds, rain, and cold for a few weeks. Still, it’s been fun driving along the highway admiring these colors.