People complain that I don't write a proper blog. They don't want to read "long form" stuff on esoteric subjects that they never think about anyway. They firmly believe that a blog is supposed to be a sort of journal, a friendly letter, full of trivia that they can skip through quickly. So this blog is for them. It's basically a blog about buying things because that's what's important. Isn't that right? I mean, I don't even have television but at least I know that much.
This is my old office chair which I like very much and for a long time it was the most comfortable chair for sitting at the computer, Also, the cats like it for sharpening their claws. One of my very few visitors pointed out that this meant they were shredding the wicker, but then I pointed out that a wicker chair like this costs about fifty bucks and a cat scratching post costs maybe sixty, so I'm saving money. They thought that was good reasoning, so I didn't have any motive to change out this chair until it started giving me sciatica lately. Besides, I have plans to reweave the chair with copper wire. You can see that I started working on that along the front edges of the arms but maybe I ought to get serious.
So when I was in Great Falls at the Office Supply store, which I hate to go into because I'm such a fool for office supplies, and spotted a proper "task chair" for fifty dollars (marked down from a hundred), I saw right away that it was the equivalent of a new wicker chair, so I bought it. The only problem is that it has to be assembled. So far it's just a big pile of pieces with instructions referring to "the large wrench" and "the small wrench," by which they mean little bits of bent metal that are not friendly for the stiff and fumbly fingers of old ladies. Nevertheless, it will be splendid in the end. (Ahem. MY personal end.) The clerk asked me what color I wanted. She suggested "brown." Any other colors? "Also, brown and brown." I chose brown. But there was a wonderful red chair, very modern looking, and I really liked it. But the description said, "Not suitable for sitting more than two hours." So I passed it up. This one advised "Not suitable for weights over 225#." But I cleared that hurdle easily: this morning I was only barely over 200#. But the clerk had more questions. Would I like a maintenance protection plan for $15? It would cover the chair for three years. Um, what is likely to go wrong enough to need professional maintenance? Well, if the cushions burst or the wheels came off. I decided to chance it.
Just down the street from me is an old Baptist church that I used to yearn for. I figured I'd make the main meeting room into a big art gallery, build a stone fireplace, knock a hole in the wall that faces the mountains -- it just happens to be where the altar was. But over the past fifty years it has seriously deteriorated and has been used for storage by a local entrepreneur. He had a dispersal sale, which I missed, but I stopped by the next day and got this tub for $35. It's about four or five feet long but DEEP. Around here people buy these tubs for planting petunias in, but that's NOT what I intend. I want to soak in it. Paul tells me that if I have the legs (I do) I could build a fire under it and so long as I were willing to sit on a wooden rack, it would be a good hot tub. But I told HIM that this was not going to be a hot tub, though if it gets really hot this summer, I intend to fill it with water from the hose (our water comes directly off the ice melt of the Rockies) and sit in it. His immediate assumption was that I would do what he does -- not wear clothes -- and he warned me that I might attract weirdo perverts. The guy who sold me the tub, on learning that I write blogs, warned me that doing THAT would attract weirdo perverts from all over the country. The assumption of both men was that the weirdo perverts would be male and that they would be irresistibly attracted by a woman over seventy who no longer has to wear a bra because it's possible to just tuck one's appendages into her belt. Besides, some weirdo perverts are pretty intelligent and we might have good conversations. Anyway, I've been blogging a long time and still haven't attracted the attention of any weirdo perverts except one, who says he will sue me if I mention his name. He lives in Texas. Wouldn't you know?
I have four of these old shallow tubs and usually grow tomatoes in them, but now that we have metered water in town, and I'm still tight for money, I might not do that this year. The real reason for the tubs is that my back yard is at the end of a T-bone alley and sometimes people come carooming down the alley in reckless fashion. Since people around here often drive into buildings, even the post office in spite of concrete blockers, I worry that someone will suddenly come crashing into my kitchen unless there is something to stop them.
One of the nicknames for this part of the world -- not just Montana but also the whole high prairie -- is "Next Year Country." Next year this yard will look different. If the Publishers' Clearing House ever comes through on their repeated promises, next year will come this year.
But I did have a little elbow room this paycheck which I spent partly making a loop up around the High Line where two county towns are on the far north tracks of the railroad. There's a lot of building going on. Cut Bank finally has their bridge over the tracks so no one has to wait ten minutes for a train to pass. The number of windmills, high-tension transmission lines, pump jacks and circle irrigators is incredible. Butte is no longer the industrial center of Montana.
Our new mascot bird is Chopped Eagle.
In spite of all this, we still do not have steady-state internet access or radio broadcast. When I got home from Great Falls last night, my internet was off for the second time this week. Today my NPR feed has failed. (I'm listening via streaming.) I will not store my pencil and paper where I can't find them.
In the meantime, in spite of ants and peeling paint and other shabbiness, one needs a few flourishes, so I did put my usual pot of nicotiana (tobacco) on the doorstep. It's lucky. And it smells good.