The oddest sort of winter

Winter has been a mercurial sort of friend this year. One night it’s above freezing, practically bathing suit weather, and the next there is frost all over everything and you’re bundling up like you’re about to go on an Arctic expedition!

Regardless, it’s still been beautiful. The ice grows and recedes, groans and grumbles, and does what ice does. I find little things by the lake shore. My dad and I made a seafood bake which was delicious, messy, and so satisfying. I apply to graduate school and stress far more than I should.

It begins…

It’s not cold here anymore.

After over a week of -20 F with horrible, chilly winds, it has been warm for over 2 weeks. I don’t like it. It’s odd and uncomfortable. I never thought I’d say that I missed the cold, but the regularity of Montana’s bitter chill is comforting.

I began my applications to graduate school recently. Slowly working towards the next step of my life. I am not happy with work at all, so focusing my energy on the future seems like the next best step. I feel under utilized and unchallenged and I am, quite frankly, bored. Attempts to rectify this haven’t succeeded. Working for the government can be very frustrating. In my agency it is very much a “dance of the lemons” where problems, whether they be people or otherwise, are shuffled around rather then dealt with.

I crocheted myself the most enormous scarf that everybody but me despises. It appears to be more like a blanket. I spent 8 hours making it and 4 spools of beautiful yarn. It’s cream and oatmeal and absolutely gorgeous.

It’s December and I cannot wait for it to be 2015 and be that much closer to all that I am working to accomplish. I have started practicing Dutch for our trip. I know that just about every person in the Netherlands most likely speaks beautiful English but my family is from the Netherlands and it makes me feel much better when I travel to be able to read and understand and communicate, even if it’s just a few words.

 

 

 

Montana Winters

Winter here was long and cruel. It was colder than any I’ve ever experienced.

But it also made me feel alive. One night I didn’t realize it was -65F with windchill and walked over a mile to my favorite bar. Halfway through I couldn’t feel my legs. My cheeks were red and I am surprised my face didn’t have frostbite.

Winter tests you. It makes sure you’re ready. It makes you worthy. You learn to get good boots and gloves and you get used to slipping and sliding through intersections. You ready yourself for school with 4+ layers of wool, fur, and cotton, topping it all off with down. Hats become necessary and the windows have frost on the inside.

Here are some bits of my December in the midst of our winter. I sat on my bed with Chris playing with lenses. We meandered all over the lake in Helena. My sister and I ate pies. My father ice fished for the beautiful, delicious rainbow trout that circle the lake. We went hunting and I shot my own goose and later plucked it.

Winter.

 

 

From the fone.

I got my thesis approved, an independent study approved, and I’ve signed up for a graduate level class as an undergraduate for the second time in my academic history.

Whew.

I also made a pecan pie for Chris for his birthday. He was actually sick on it, but we made the pie once he was better. I did a damn good job. I don’t think he can disagree.

I’ve been mastering pizza. Pizza pizza pizza. Veggie pizza, meat pizza, any kind of pizza I can whip together with what’s on hand!

Chris got me into Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I have been thoroughly sucked in! NOOOO/YESSSS/WHAT?

I cut myself with a particularly rough piece of cardboard (which yes, can happen).

Chelsea came for the weekend and stayed with me. We slept in my bed and ate bagels and drank things with vodka and gin. I already miss that girl but hopefully might be travelling down to see her in California over Spring Break- fingers crossed!

I have literally been busy almost every moment though. If I’m not at school I’m making food or working on projects or coordinating projects or trying to make sure I graduate or I’m working. C’est la vie!

Life is a beautiful fast paced thing right now. I’ve got Portra film in a camera so I might get that done soon.

 

Winter Break via il telefonino

Break.

Break break break.

It’s technically still happening but it’s almost over and so here’s a photo compilation from my telefonino. We chopped down Christmas trees in the woods, ate a lot of food, I went hunting with my father with my grandfather’s beautiful gun (AND SHOT A GOOSE!!!!) . I met up with my favorite old friends in dark bars, and I may have sung some karaoke. I made Chris pose for a photograph showing his skill at providing food. I was proud. We played on the ice a lot this winter, it was over a foot thick! Cooper had to sit on a mat while we ice fished because his little feet got cold. I rung in the New Year around a fire after a sushi dinner with a lovely soul.

I also worked a lot, slept a lot, and ate a lot. I’ve been lucky to have such a great group of people in my life who make such wonderful photographs and moments possible. There are countless more that weren’t documented because they were cherished at the time they happened.

Alright, this moi has to go and write thank you cards to the famiglia for all the wonderful regalos this year! Off to it!

 

I haven’t died!

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I’m here. STILL! I built a website, but am having a horrid time buying the domain name I want and NEED so…I’ve been doing that.

I finished finals, I’ve been with friends and family. I got 2 rolls of film developed from MONTHS ago, it was very neat to see some of the frames I’d shot that I’d forgotten about!

There’s a few from Chico when I went with Chris and we took a backwoods drive, a few from car camping and eating chili on cold mornings around a fire he built, a few from my sister and I on Thanksgiving, and pie, and dogs. I haven’t been photographing as much but this is changing! I swear!

I hope your holidays were magnificent! I got asked quite a bit yesterday at the bank and at the photo center if I got a good amount of stuff- which felt so odd. I’m not going to pretend I’m the most selfless person ever, but it would be nice to talk about family and the moments, not the stuff! What was your favorite moment over the holiday season? Do you have any glorious plans for New Years?

ALSO: Even though I haven’t been able to get my domain name, here is the link to my current website: http://krop.com/somethingdutch

Please visit- all feedback is welcome! Thank you, lovely readers! I’ve reached over 500 followers with this blog, which means SO MUCH. That number may not seem very large but to me it’s awesome to think that 500 people out there thought enough to follow.

 

 

Thanksgiving weekend

Thanksgiving break was a lot of eating pie and sleeping.

But on Thursday morning I woke up at 4:30 and met my father in our kitchen. We drove in the dark and hiked up a steep hill and hunted for elk. We spooked deer and saw marten tracks and I got to watch the sun rise from the trees in the most beautiful fashion. We tracked elk across a saddle on a ridge and tried to be quiet in the crunching snow. We didn’t see anything- not a peek of white bum in the woods or some skinny legs in the timber- but we worked hard and had an awesome time. I think honestly once we spooked the deer they told everybody in the woods two oddballs were wandering around.

As soon as we got home, exhausted, we were making pies. I made a cherry one with help from my Mum. Then I collapsed for two solid lovely hours before eating a ridiculous amount of food with my family.

I had a great time home this weekend. I chopped wood with a hatchet in a cashmere sweater (which, if you know me, seems to be perfectly in character) and I remember a passage from Anne LaBastille’s Woodswoman, where she notes that it is very difficult to stay mad chopping wood. AMEN! I felt so awesome afterwards, even if my strokes weren’t always on target. By the way, if you haven’t read Woodswoman, it’s an amazing read. Anne LaBastille built herself a cabin in the Adirondacks and lived completely on her own with a dog, without electricity, running water, etc.- she was a serious badass.

Now I’m back in my little apartment. Today I helped my father drag a cow elk down to the truck. He had to cut it in half and my mother and I gamely tied ropes to it and dragged it for quite a distance! A storm was coming so after we got it to the truck I had to speed off for my college town.

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving with people worthwhile and with food delicious!

 

New format and lovely memories

Hello lovely readers! I’ve been ignoring this blog. I’ve been really into cleaner designs and I realized that instead of looking to make a new site when I had loved this one for so long I could literally just find a new theme. 10 minutes later, BOOM! It was done. Without an actual boom sound, of course.

What did I do today? I ate lots of candy. I chopped wood with a hatchet in a cashmere sweater. I took pictures and had a milkshake. I sat in front of a fireplace. I ate pie. It was glorious. I also spent time with a warm sleepy Labrador and my lovely famiglia.

However, since I’m a slave to film (i.e. haven’t invested in a good DSLR/have no money/when I have money it goes to rent and food not cameras), any pictures of pie or candy or whatever else I took pictures of will have to wait. For at least a week. CVS swears they can get it to me in a week. Hmmm….

So, here are pictures of what winter in Montana look like on bitterly cold mornings in backyards and front yards and around town. Things are covered in frost, a frozen sort of fog blankets the valleys, and your world becomes a little more beautiful and brittle. These are from 2010 when I was home from Switzerland for a month. My mother had recently given me her Olympus OM-20 with an f/1.8 lens and I think I made some lovely images.

In the midst of the summer, let’s chill out.

00000025 00000011 00000023 00000027 00000007 00000008January.

Lonely, dark, snowy, cold. I was in the beginning stages of a sickness that kept me miserable well into February. Luckily, Julia and I decided to tramp into a nearby grove and take photographs.

I miss the quietness of this snow- the muffling sort of hush that Nature gives. Although, I don’t miss the chill I got afterwards- I stupidly wore only a sweater, convinced it would keep me warm.

It did not, surprisingly.

It’s 80 degrees out and I hate the heat, even though it’s twenty degrees cooler than it will be. This for me is a visual cooler.

 

Winter is over. Tschüß!

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It was the longest, darkest, and loneliest winter yet.

It was spent indoors, and outdoors, in bars and in woods, in breakfast places and in beds. I was sick for 5 weeks of it, five hellish, feverish weeks that made me hate everything to do with my bed. AK departed in December, I worked over Christmas break, and life continued but it was the sort of existence that Montana winters force one to live in- you go from indoors to in cars to being with yourself too much.

I declare Winter over. It is Spring, even if Montana doesn’t think so. I’m done with many parts of Winter- pining, wanting, wishing. It’s time to fulfill, to do and make.

I’m turning 22 on Wednesday, and partially due to recent events I also declare my birthday the start of a tabula rasa of sorts- Spring wipes away Winter’s decay and death, and with it the bad things. I like being born in Spring, when hope and love and blooms surface and make themselves known to everybody. I am not meant for Winter.

The everyday and then some

Kristin and I made the most amazing dark chocolate marscapone brownies the other night, and had some lovely malbec in sake ceramic cups. Emily and I went to an early sister time breakfast, complete with watching light begin to trickle into the windows. My life isn’t terribly exciting at the moment, but I sincerely hope to go ahead and post some of the prints from my film class. We’ll see!

Bits and bobs

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The other frames that I had. Odds and ends, bits and pieces.

It is my ultimate goal to someday have a very odd piece of taxidermy in whatever place I end up living. Those Victorian taxidermied pieces where they make things are especially wondrous.

Quiet musings.

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004_20 007_17 010_14 018_6 022_2Finally got some more film developed! A few posts coming, hopefully. These were taken on my Olympus OM-20 SLR which has become monopolized by photo class. Julia finally got a picture of me that appropriately demonstrates the ridiculousness that is my hair. Part of it straight, part curly. It can’t make up its mind.

I once again fell into devoting frames to hands, but this time they were my own. Manually focusing and not moving was difficult. I have always found my hands odd looking- my fingers are slightly crooked, my hands are not dainty things, but they are beautifully weird because they are my own.

I also photographed random things around my room. The mink and red nail lacquer screamed some sort of noir film.

Basel in the snow

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMontana right now is snowy, slick, and miserable. Grey clouds, colorless landscape. Almost three years ago in February, Lexi and I took the SBB from Lugano –> Zurich –> Basel, the whole way gazing out the window at the snowy landscape.

After leaving the flughafen (train station), Lexi and I made our way in the wrong direction from downtown. Past a few sex shops, theatres, and eventually finding ourselves in Swiss suburbia (apartment buildings and parks- something like 70% of the Swiss live in apartments). Eventually we found the Rhine and the more busy areas, and wandered around- it was freezing cold, but luckily it wasn’t snowing any longer. The city was pretty empty, as Carnivale had occurred and many people were probably sleeping off some wicked partying.