Mostly I just want to write about nature. A friend thinks I should blog more about music, but right now I'm more jazzed about birds and frogs (which are chirping like crazy down in the draw right now).
The music business is on hold, but I am writing songs. Weird ones--as if that's new for me. For a challenge, I'm going to try writing a Nashville-worthy hit this year. If anyone has a clever song title, send it my way and I might try to make something out of it.
The producer of an upcoming documentary about how technology is affecting rural Montanans has asked to use four of my songs in his film. He offered to pay, but I chose to donate them, since the film will be broadcast on Montana's public television station, which I grew up with and support.
Another piece of good news: I've been invited to perform at the 25th Annual Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering this spring. I may sing Curley Fletcher's "Strawberry Roan," which I memorized during my last trucking run.
What else? I've been burning a large pile of brush all afternoon, and I smell like wet smoke. The Killdeer Mountain wild crocuses have popped up, snow be damned. Hana is selling rare antique sewing relics on ETSY this week. Gilda is waiting patiently for supper.
The last five days of trucking were wild. From North Dakota snow to Iowa tornadoes to a Michigan heat-wave to a Calgary ice storm. We got held up at three border crossings for multiple hours and reasons. We were also fined several hundred dollars at a pernicious Ontario weigh station.
Now I'm back in snowy NoDak. Horses are pawing for grass. Beaver have returned to their lodges.
As of today, the birds are back on Killdeer Mountain. Ducks, turkeys, goldfinches, pheasants, woodpeckers, falcons, crows, bluebirds, meadowlarks, and nuthatches are suddenly everywhere. Pelicans, hawks, and geese fly overhead. Coming soon: leaves on trees!
Hana and I are permanently living on Killdeer Mountain now. We snowshoe a hundred yards to get to the cabin. The snow this week is half as deep as last week. We should be able to drive in next week, unless we get more snow.
Ponds on the mountain are thawing. I saw two big beaver yesterday. I've seen lots of turkey tracks, but no turkeys yet. A couple of chickadees have discovered the sunflower seeds in the bird feeder near the cabin. The horses are sticking to the south pasture, to commune across the fence with the Diamond C steeds.
We've yet to turn the cabin's water back on. We fill a water jug from the pump near the bunkhouse and sled it to the front door. Washing dishes takes extra time, sponge baths replace showers, and in lieu of the loo we use the outhouse.
The cabin isn't insulated, so mornings are nippy until we get the stove cranking. It's been good burning through the old birch and oak woodpile.
Hana has been creating feasts: squash, yams, chicken, steak, asparagus, lentils, black beans, rice, chocolate pudding. Eggs and oatmeal for breakfast. Tea at every meal.
Yesterday I hooked Internet into the parents' half-finished house up on the ridge, where Hana has a workspace. She's eager to resume her online Etsy business.
For once I'll mourn the passing of the cold season. It's peaceful up here.