Montana – Day 13

What to do after blissful spa services? Maybe puzzle some, and hit the leftovers for a smorgasbord of a lunch at home. 

Clearly, we picked an evil puzzle that changes the shape of its pieces on its chuckling whim. But we persist. (Mostly Kat persists). Progress is painfully made.

Puzzle of evil/NR

I finally give it up for a bit, plan to read or check in with the world. And conk for a solid hour. 

BW actually wakes me up as it’s time to get ready for the Long Table dinner. I’m one groggy napper and stumble around slapping makeup on my blissfully facial’d face before figuring out what the weather might be so I put on something that won’t be too hot, too cool.

In the end, since we adjusted our shuttle pick-up time, BW, Jason and I have time to walk to the Outpost for the shuttle. This is a good thing for me as the walk and the Diet Pepsi I glug as we go finally wakes me up.

And oh, the pretty evening adds to it.

Kat drives the car around, and our timing is once again pretty solid as we arrive all at once.

We shuttle over with a woman and her two kids, and in conversation it comes out she and I both grew up in Silver Spring. Small world indeed.

It’s a ride down narrow, bumpy ranch roads where those shuttles coming back and our shuttle going to have to jog for pull-outs to make room. Following the river again, and those fields, those forests.

It’s easy to see why they picked the spot they did, not only because it’s gorgeous, but it’s very open. And when they say Long Table in Montana, they mean Long Table.

The scene/NR
Long table/j a-b

Lots of people there already, but plenty of chairs at the table so we snag ours alongside our shuttle companions. 

We’ve got a couple of bars, a hot band, tables of food, booths with more—samples of bread, honey, oils, cheeses all local. 

Beef tenderloin, paella, hot dogs (LONG ones), salmon, potato salad, green salad, Caesar salad, coleslaw. Name the fancy picnic food and we’ve got it.


Mudslide Charlie, the band, keeps things moving. We’ve got a lead female singer who has solid pipes, and plays the washboard—fascinating—and the guitar. We’ve got a sax player who also plays harmonica. The drummer, the bass player, lead guitar. It’s R&B, which makes me very happy. 

Mudslide Charley Band/BW

People stream in all evening. Kids play soccer on the rise above the tables, or they play by the river. Lots of cowboy hats, lots of boots.

Kat concedes to the bump, so she and I shuttle back. The guys will stay for another set.

We shuttle back with a couple and their three kids. The youngest and his mom are in the row with me. Dad and the two older are in the back.

Mom and the little guy have a nice conversation about getting showered up as the kids played hard in the dust. In the back the two older kids are bickering some. Dad keeps telling them to stop, forbids them to play together, threatens punishments. Mostly they ignore or argue with him, and he argues back.

As I’m listening, I wonder why an adult parents argues with a child. Or tolerates being told NO by a child. (NO, I’m not taking a shower. YES, you are. NO!) At one point they were all quiet, and suddenly he says: I told you not to play together! No videos for a week.

And I think: But they were finally quiet, WHY did you start them up again? So we’re whining and arguing, then comes the negotiation.

I believe in bribery where kids are concerned. I believe in explaining the whys and why nots. Negotiation? Hey, this is no democracy here. I am the benevolent dictator of your world. Negotiate with a kid, the kid will run you over and back again.

Which is exactly what happens by the time we arrive back at the Outpost. Videos, etc are back on because the kids claim they behaved for the last five minutes.

I also note that Mom stays out of this and simply continues to engage the younger child on the ride. Younger kid is perfectly happy to watch and comment in amazement on the red ball of sun sinking in the sky.

An interesting dynamic.

Kat and I have a nice, peaceful drive back from Outpost to cabin.

Then there’s that damn puzzle, just sitting there taunting us.

We work it awhile, and the guys come. The floss-dancing kid came back for an encore tonight after we left. I’m sorry we missed him.


Workout done, and Kat’s back on the puzzle. I may cave and join her awhile.

Tonight is movie night at home. We’re streaming the latest Avenger movie, which BW and I haven’t yet seen. So room service and a movie for our Sunday night.

We’ll have to see what’s going on between now and then.


In today’s #randomkatness


19 thoughts on “Montana – Day 13”

  1. It does not get any better than the dinner and music!!! WOW!

    And, I totally agree re:Dad and the children!!!

    Good luck with the dratted puzzle

  2. Interesting watching a frustrating dynamic that you must share as a captive audience. That kind of thing demands concentrated physical activity from me to just rid myself of it. Fast pacing for half an hour can help. On a different note, I love Kat’s Zinnias. They are my favorite August flower.

  3. It’s a pity to slap makeup on a sparkling clean face. Give me lipstick, eye makep, & unless it’s a formal affair, im good.
    I marvel at your persistence w/evil puzzle. Especially since it will be broken up when done. I also marvel at your wisdom about raising kids. You are right about all of it, but it’s more about emotion than clear thinking.

  4. I love reading your blogs. I’m with you on not negotiating with kids. I was a firm dictator too , as I was in the role of mother and father when my son was growing up( I never married) he turned out great! (Me not so much, lol) Have a great time on vacation.

  5. I have to say Kat’s Zinnias are spectacular. I don’t always notice flowers and such, but those demand attention.

    You weren’t kidding, that was one long table. The food sounded really good.

    The parent/kid deal, I will just say I’m with you. I could let loose a rant too easily otherwise.

  6. The long table was really long!!! The food looks awesome!

    Hopefully you’ll tell us your review of Avengers: Infinity War…personally i think it’s one of the best of the MCU.

  7. That was a loooooong table! Quite a hike to the bars, if you’re on the wrong side, at least you’ve compensated for the extra calories – lol. I decided early that there would be no children, since I also believe in benevolent dictatorship and saw the way things were going. Somehow, my siblings and I survived such dictatorship and became law-abiding citizens taught to pull our own weight. Anyway…. That puzzle gave me a twitch just looking at the photo of it – egad! That’s just evil. I tried double zinnias myself the first time this year, love watching the bloom develop. Great photo! Is Kat due very soon? Is the baby’s middle name going to be Montana? Sounds like you’re all having a great, relaxing time.

    1. Baby’s middle name will be Wilder, which KILLED BW in the best possible way. So it’s TBD Wilder. A great name whatever the TBD turns out to be. (They’re down to 7 possibilities.)

      She’s due Oct 17. Nearly into week 32.

      She looks just fabulous.

      1. What a wonderful tribute to Bruce. It shows how beautifully you have blended your family. So enjoying the travelogues. Hoping Laura is doing well. Thanks for taking time to write daily for your loyal readers.

  8. Looks like you all are having a great time. Keep enjoying!! and try to enjoy the puzzle, at least a little?? Even though I’ve lived in the great state of Montana since 1987 (except for five years), I do still miss the 10 years spent living and working in Maryland. Sounds like a great middle name for the baby!! and the food you have been sharing with us through pictures and prose sounds extremely yummy!!

  9. My family would fit at that table! Love it. No negotiations is right, if you want life easy. 6 boys equals 1 boss, ME. They learned early on but alas my grands and greats are all different. Love everyone one of them!
    Keep having a blast and working puzzles too. . I liked doing them years ago, now I pick up a book. Life is so fun!
    Next month we get our first great great grandson. 5 generations, the only sad part of this is we are the oldest. ? how did that happen! We were young.

  10. I truly haven’t figured out why parents want to negotiate with their kids did they forget who is supposed to be “boss?”

  11. Delicious looking food! And some awesome music in a beautiful setting…great way to vacay! Love the babes middle name and the sentiment. One of our kids went with city names – Phoenix and Salem. Then another went with state names – Montana and Tennessee. So exciting…waiting to meet the new little one.

  12. The long table dinner sounded like fun. The bickering father and kids seem typical of a lot of parents these days; sad. Kat’s flowers are beautiful. The puzzle looks daunting, but worth the effort. The colors will be amazing. Thank you, again, for sharing. You make me feel like I’m there, too.

  13. Oh sorry you picked that movie. We watched it the other day and there is no getting back that hour and a half.

  14. I love how you note down all the things that are around you. From nature, sounds, sights all the way to people.

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