DeWayne and Joy

DeWayne and Joy

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Museums and More Food!

Hang with me, this is another long one, folks.  Get you a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice) and settle in for the ride.  :)

The high yesterday was only going to be around 50 degrees and it was raining, so we opted to take in some INDOOR activities. 

After lunch, we made our way to the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art.  We had seen the building several times in our trips around town and I never tired of looking at it, so first things first, I had to get a picture of this beautiful old building
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This was formerly the local high school and instead of abandoning or tearing down the building, the community has restored and preserved it.  They have even build false walls for the exhibits and artwork to hang on in the halls and in some of the rooms that cover the original (undisturbed) walls and wainscoting, as well as chalkboards and molding. 

The museum itself is located on the first and second floors and the fourth floor.  The shiny hardwood floors creaked as we walked and there was the smell of aged wood all through the building, further adding to the nostalgic atmosphere.  I took as many pictures of the woodwork and the structure of the building as I could.
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And then there were the exhibits themselves, all by local artists.
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This was DeWayne’s favorite painting:
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I liked some of the pictures and exhibits, but nothing really stood out at me until I entered the last exhibit room.  Wow, I was totally fascinated and intrigued by this exhibit of figures done by two local farmers (twin brothers).  These guys fashioned all these figures out of driftwood found on their farm and, at one time, had them placed all over their property.  This is what I saw as I walked in the door:
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Notice the bench in the middle of the room.  I immediately felt like I could sit and gaze at these figures for hours and the room itself had such a fascinating and friendly feel to it. 

I took pictures of the information about these artists and how their art came to be saved and exhibited.  It’s worth the read if you click on each picture and enlarge it.  Sorry about the flash spots in the pictures.
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You can tell I loved this room by how many pictures I took, but I wanted to get as many of these whimsical figures as I could.
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I had to get a picture of this one that had on an old pair of boots
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The brothers used household items, bottle caps, coffee cans, jars, or just junk in general for eyes, hats, bow ties or whatever the figure called for. 

We spent a couple of hours in the museum, so imagine our pleasant surprise to discover that the rain had stopped when we exited the museum and the sky was a beautiful blue again!
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We made our way to the “Prime Cut” restaurant for supper and I had steak and shrimp that was delicious.  DeWayne had grilled chicken and we both had a baked potato and Texas toast.  I only made it about halfway through mine, as usual, so we left with enough in the to-go box to make another meal for me.

We came “home” with full bellies and ready to settle in for the evening.  I had been wanting to tackle those curtains that I bought at the Salvation Army thrift store a few days ago.  I had bought two long window panels with one long valance to match.  I had thought there were two valances when I bought them and that would have been perfect for the bedroom.  I could put the valances on the little windows by the bed and cut the long panels off and re-hem them for the bigger window.  However, since I only had one valance, I had to make another two valances (halves) from what I cut off the long panels to equal the one full valance that was ready to hang.  AND, since I opted to leave my sewing machine in the barn in DeKalb, that meant doing by hand with a needle and thread.  So, armed with my trusty tape measure, scissors, pins, needle and thread, I went to work.  It took a while, but I had the curtains finished and hung around midnight last night.  They look great and, other than labor, I only have $7.00 in the entire project. 

We planned to go back to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center this morning to see everything that we didn’t have time to see the other day, so that’s what we did.  We spent most the time in the auditorium listening to speakers telling about when, in one day, Clark was charged by a grizzly bear, encountered a “tiger cat” (probably a bobcat) crouching and ready to pounce, and charged again by three male buffalo.  Talk about a bad day!  Whew! 

We watched a film also, then ventured outside by the river so that I could get pictures of the landscape and river outside the interpretive center.  The buffalo picture is in the main entrance of the building:
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Outside the building:
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Then I went down the path and down by the river, behind the building:
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By this time, it was time for lunch, so we made our way downtown to a restaurant that we have been wanting to try out.  It’s called Goode’s Q and Bayou Grill.  I still don’t know what the “Q” is about.  This was one of the placed recommended to us by one of the guides from the canoe trip, so I had looked it up online and read the ratings, which were all good and full of praise for the authentic Cajun and southern cuisine. 
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It’s a small, cozy place with very friendly staff and the food was phenomenal!  I had fried catfish, potato salad, dirty corn and green beans and hushpuppies.  DeWayne had the BBQ pork with slaw and baked beans.  Every single item on our plates was delicious and seasoned to perfection.  Half of mine was boxed up and although I haven’t eaten it yet, I certainly will!  DeWayne asked for a cup of Gumbo to go so he could have it for supper and they included a hefty piece of jalapeno cornbread and butter to go with it.  Let me tell ya, that was hands down, the best gumbo either of us had ever tasted.  Two brothers from Louisiana/Texas own and operate the restaurant and brought their recipes with them.  Needless to say, I recommend Goode’s for a great place to eat.

Now, after making it back home, I had to play with the camera some more and took this picture in the bedroom that includes the new (used) curtains.

So much for another couple of days in Great Falls, Montana.  We still want to see the C.M. Russell museum, take the Gateway to the Mountains boat tour, visit Ryan’s dam and the Great Falls, among other things.  So stay tuned for more of our stay here.

But in the meantime…..


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bargains and Giant Springs

DeWayne wanted to go by the Salvation Army thrift store today to look for more movies that we can get really cheap, so we decided to go before lunch and check the place out.  It’s a pretty big store and really much better organized than the Goodwill store we visited last week. 

DeWayne didn’t find any movies, but I noticed when we walked in that all summer clothing was 75% off what it was marked, so I decided to check out the women’s department.  Wow, I found the mother lode!  So I literally “loaded” up.  I found eleven pair of shorts in various shades of pinks, blues and khaki, then found four pair of capri’s in my favorite colors.  The final price tag for all that?  Well, we paid $13.78 at the check-out and that included a set of curtains that I bought for $7.00, so all those shorts and pants cost an average of sixty-three cents apiece!  I LOVE IT!!!! 

Anyway, I shouldn’t have to buy shorts for a very long time and have a good supply in all my favorite colors.  And I saved a BUNDLE, so I’m one happy camper, let me tell ya!
We drove downtown Great Falls looking for a couple of the pawn shops listed on yahoo local so that DeWayne could check for used movies, but both that were listed were out of business.  We found another one that wasn’t listed just by looking for the other two and he did find one movie that cost a dollar.  Are we good, or what? 

I was wanting to go somewhere nifty today so that I could try out my new camera and have enough scenery to have a variety of shots.  I took the entire case complete with camera, lenses and the manual, which I planned to study as I went.  I can read instructions all day long and won’t remember any of it until I put it into practice.  So I wanted a nice place to go that allowed me to take pictures and also sit and study the features of the camera.  So we decided to take in Giant Springs which is just a couple of miles from the air force base.

It’s a beautiful place to see!  And photo opportunities galore!  Between the water, the falls, the wildlife, the people and the landscape, I didn’t hurt for subject matter, for sure!

I’ll let the pictures do the talking:
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The camera is awesome!  I can’t wait to learn more about it and take more creative pictures.  What a difference in the clarity of the pictures from the old camera.

We visited the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center which is adjacent to the park and it was immensely entertaining and educational.  DeWayne bought his “senior citizen” pass for all the National Parks while we were there, so we were both admitted free on his card.  The card was only $10 and is good forever, so ya can’t beat that for a bargain either!

There is still lots to see in the center, but since we can get in anytime for free, well…….we’ll be going back, for sure.  Here’s a picture of one of the exhibits inside the Interpretive center:
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And turning around from this exhibit, this is the view of the river through the window behind me:
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When we exited the building, we noticed this car in the parking lot
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I thought the front of it resembled the HHR, so we got a closer look.
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Cute, huh?  It was a ‘49 “Austin” and appears to be a European model of some kind.

DeWayne got his new cell phone today, so he’s back in business and we no longer have to share my cell phone. 

It’s hard to imagine that just two days ago, Great Falls tied the 1894 high temperature of 96 degrees.  The high today was 73 and the high tomorrow will be 50 degrees and raining, so we plan to stay in and stay warm til the weather warms up and dries up the day after tomorrow. 

Well, I’ve exhausted all the news again, so I’ll shut up and sign off til next time.

In the meantime……..HAPPY TRAILS EVERYBODY!