Tired….but things are looking up!

It has been weeks since the Fire and the wedding and I know I am due for multiple blog posts and information about… well, everything. Suffices to say a lot of changes have been happening behind the scenes. It will take some time for me to both process and figure out how best to take everything smooshing together in my brain and turn it into something I can write about. So, in the meantime I’m going to try to start posting about… well whatever comes to mind. I’m still not disciplined enough for regular posts but maybe that’s coming too.

I spoke of changes; two that have happened are graduate school and part time work.  I started graduate school and now am maintaining a blog for one of my classes (LOL): http://indiancreekbunkhouse.wordpress.com/.  Just to keep things confusing, I gave it the same name as this, although it’s called “Connecting out in the Hills” and will be focused mainly on school assignments and how rural communities continue to communicate and maintain relationships in the electronic age.  I am also now only working every other week at my NPS job (still a lot of hours but only away from home every other week).  The fires did damage the ranch and I want to be able to be available to rebuild and do what I can to help.  It’s hard to do anything from 160 miles away.  Luckily, I have supervisors and family who are working with me on both ends to make this work for everyone.  The upside on this is that I get to spend a lot more time in the place I love learning how to run a ranch and having energy jump into projects.  The downside is less actual income and having to give up health insurance (I know this is going to illicit a lot of responses and it is a blog post that I will write about in the future).  It’s the right decision for now, allowing me to continue to do the work I love with my NPS family and friends AND the work I need to learn with my extended family and friends on the ranch.

To conclude this post, here’s what’s happening right now.  There’s a fire east of us that D has gone to help a neighbor with.  Hopefully it’s small and with just a little help can be put out or controlled.  Another reminder that winter is still a ways off and that we still need rain.  It’s really easy these days to get depressed and overwhelmed and tired.  I want to share one place I go to find inspiration and hope:  http://www.ted.com/talks .  One of my favorites is Nancy Etcoff’s The surprising science of happiness .  Check it out!

One more thing off the list.

Invitations are finally sent after a long process of deciding we (a) weren’t going to buy them from a manufacturer (excuse me, $3 for an invite?) and (b) we weren’t going to make every piece of the invite by ourselves.  We did the conceptualizing, printing and assembly over a couple weeks and we’re pretty thrilled with how they ended up.

For all you crafty people out there, we manufactured them with seed paper (from the Seed Paper People out of Colorado:  http://www.bloomin.com/), vellum, twine, and our printer.  Originally we were going to make our own seed paper.  We prototyped a couple sheets before realizing that if we wanted to send these out before the wedding we would have to forego doing everything ourselves.  We came up with the design through multiple edits and help from friends and family.  The drawing is a photo of our home that we sketched over with tracing paper and scanned.  We then printed out the text on vellum and attached the vellum to the seed paper with some twine.  The result surprised both of us in being an invitation that was personal and something we both loved.  We choose not to include RSVP cards and instead ask people to contact us directly.  For out of town guests, we included some specific directions on an additional sheet of cardstock attached to the back of the invite.  We also included direction on how to plant the seed paper.

A couple of afternoons of construction

And more of addressing gave us a hefty stack to send:

It was definitely time consuming to do all this ourselves, but it was actually kind of fun to just sit and construct.  We used the time to talk… about more wedding plans of course, but also of our other hopes and dreams, frustrations and complications, and to share stories.  And now we have another fabulous memory to add to the stories about us.

Postnote:   A few of these have already gotten lost in the mail or returned to us because of wrong or outdated addresses, so please let us know if you haven’t received one and were hoping to come.

July 7, 2012

Artist: Hardy Tate, 1999

What: Dustin and Cindy are getting married so come and celebrate with us!
When: July 7, 2012 (but come and camp for up to a week before and stay for a week after)
Where: At Horse Creek Ranch, Otter, Montana: our home in southeastern Montana. And yes, we live 70 miles from the nearest movie theater, library, and decent motel. You are welcome to bring a tent or RV and camp in our fields. We can also make motel suggestions in Sheridan, Wyoming (about an 1 1/2 drive).

More Specifics coming soon….

Ummm…is this thing live?

Good then.   The site will be a mess over the next few weeks as I try to figure out what the heck I’m doing.  So please bear with me as I jump into yet another crazy project!  I’m not exactly sure what this is going to end up but hopefully the journey will be a fun one. I’ve been asked hundreds of times when I was going to start blogging, so I figured I’d square it and learn how to manage my own site as well.  Do it the one and a half full gal way :).

The name of the blog comes from the place I call home, although what I post won’t  be exclusively about living on a southeast Montana bunkhouse.  For one, I don’t live here 100% of the time and two… well, if you want to read just about ranch life, there already  well established blogs out there.  I’m just here to share some of my crazy, wonderful life with family, friends, and friends to be!