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As Bryan Schutmaat was working on his project about small mountain towns in the American West, he was invited to hear old stories from mountain men over whiskey and beer. He even enjoyed a turkey dinner with some locals.

Schutmaat had always been fascinated by the West and drew inspiration mainly from literature on Montana. He said poems from Richard Hugo, who wrote about the Northwest during the Depression, often directed him to certain towns. Schutmaat tried to emanate the beauty and sorrow of Hugo’s poetry in his photos.

Schutmaat had people’s kindness supporting him through the project, but he also had car trouble, law enforcement run-ins and self doubt setting him back.

“There were some cold mornings when I woke up in my tent or in my car along some desolate highway and wondered what I was doing with my life,” he said. “Even when people stand in…

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Bitsy Bored

This is the week of the insurance. Bitsy’s daily routine, usually, is to jump in the car, drive to the Peach Clubhouse at whatever time in the morning I manage to wake up, which always is by 4 am, which used to be 5 am, a time established by our old cat, Buttermilk Pie. I guess it is her memorial, at 5, now 4, Bitsy’s tail begins to thwack the mattress. Today I grabbed it to keep it quiet, and she took that as an invitation to 50 pounds of active playtime, so we were up and had to go to work. Then usually, early afternoon, work finished, we come back and she plays outside for the rest of the day.

But this is the week of the insurance, so we piled back in the car each afternoon, and went to all the various insurance carriers to get everything straight for the coming year. What a load off. I really don’t like these responsibilities, but I’m thankful that my contacts are local, accessible, not some machine in Utah or some place, and they do what they say they will do. Next will be the month of the greeting cards and book !!, Outside the Circle, twelve years in the making will be finished before the year-end holidays. After that the month of the taxes and then we will be off again. Meantime, Bitsy is bored sitting in the car every afternoon, and even bored in her own yard with no trips to the dog park and nobody to play with. Well, except that this morning she called my attention to a dead possum in the neighbor’s yard that I tossed in their trash can. She enjoyed that. Now — bored again.

But if you would like to read about Bitsy’s adventures last summer, in Bitsy’s Dog Park Diary, you can buy the cute little stocking-stuffer book that contains world-class photos on each of 20 pages, for only $15 from me or $15 plus tax and shipping from BLURB. It’s a nice small guest-gift for people who like dogs. Would be an excellent small gift, for example, at the BACH christmas party. Maybe next time I’ll make a horse book.

Bitsy’s Dog Park Diary is posted on BLURB, with the option to look at a few internal pages. At
http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3631026
Or go to the bookstore and plug in Lynn Lamoreux, or click on the link above.