Friday, July 18, 2008

Oh, my Gosh!!

Jacob's Tails ... (Back-to-the-Land)"
Oh, my Gosh - it’s the middle of July already and I haven’t made an entry here since April! That could mean that not too much has happened or that so much has gone on, the BLOG just didn’t get done. Can we have both things, here? I don’t think BLOGGING is my forte! I can’t seem to keep up with it monthly, let alone weekly or daily.

What are we doing this summer? – Not much, really!! To carry on where I left off – Fred managed to pick up a severe infection in his colon and ended up in the hospital with diverticulitis. We had never heard of it before but discovered it is not that uncommon and extremely painful. Aw-w-w – the discoveries of the aging human and the fear of elevated Travel Medical costs. He’s okay now but did go through quite a time. Now he has totally rebuilt the Entertainment/Storage Unit in the motor home and is off today working on getting the spare tire out of the outside storage compartment.

The sales of “Jacob’s Tails” are going fairly well but it’s with a lot of work. The signing at Chapters netted about a dozen copies and I have been busy following up on many of the contacts we made down in Cape Breton last fall with reasonable results. They are carrying the book at Chapters, the Save-on Supermarket here and at the Museum. I don’t particularly like chasing sales, so if I ever even mention doing another printing, please remind me how much I have complained about promoting the book.

We went up to see Barbara Kingsolver in Calgary who is promoting her latest book. Yes, we had to buy tickets to her presentation – oh, what glory it would be to get paid to promote your writing!

I am most unhappy with BookStream who has been carrying the book. They did do a good job printing the book; in good time; at a reasonable price, but that is all they do well – their catalogue is useless for promotions and they will only accept credit cards on-line. folks who wanted to purchase “Jacob’s Tails” and either were not on-line or didn’t trust the internet could not order the book by telephone. So the whole experience was not satisfactory.

So, I have decided that I can do just as well taking orders and mailing out the books.
The E-book can be ordered through the web-site ( and order a hard copy directly from me. E-book is $6.95 and book is $17.95 (Introductory Offer) + $2.00 (S&H) in Canada or $5.00 (S&H) in the USA.

But I am submitting pieces to magazines and they are actually publishing some of them. RV Lifestyle Magazine is printing my piece on Writing-on-Stone in their July edition and it is featured on their website ( and the Escapees Magazine used some of my Nova Scotia/Cape Breton photos – which brought me to the realization that a 2.1 mega pixel, 3 x optical zoom (my ever faithful the Fujifilm that we bought in 2000) was not good enough to submit for magazines – so now we are the proud owners of an Olympus SP 570 UZ with 10 mega pixels and 20 x zoom and a very steep learning curve.

Our first real foray away was down to East Glacier to meet Dave and Chris who we were with in Texas last winter. We met them there because the Road to the Sun – over the Logan Pass was not open yet. Apparently they have around 900 inches of snow over the winter and hadn’t got it cleared yet and that was the end of June.

Anyway, we made a number of stops along the way to try out the new camera – Huh! the wind mills; the old Border Crossing building at Carway;; the Lodge and Tepee; Dave & Chris; and the sculptures south of the Border Crossing. Out of around sixty pictures, maybe 5 of them were worth keeping!! I kept taking the pictures over again because I wasn’t sure if I had done it right; I didn’t know how to change the focus; etc – but I’m learning.

The sculptures peaked my interest. There’s nothing there that tell you what they are or why they are there so I decided to do a bit of exploring.

Apparently these and similar sculptures mark the entrances to the Blackfeet Reservation. The Tribe commissioned on of their members and metal sculptor, Jay Laber, to create the sculptures.

The sculptures are designed to reflect the traditional head-dress, feathers, and clothing of the early 1800s. The fellow I talked to at the Tribal Office in Browning pointed out that most times traditional head-dresses are pictured with long flowing feathers and, in fact, the feathers in the traditional Blackfeet head-dresses reached towards the sky.

The stones for the base were collected from an abandoned Two Rivers Catholic Mission of the early 1800 and all the metal was salvaged from cars destroyed in a severe flood in 1964.

Our plan is to try the West coast this winter seeing as how we did the East coast last year. So we’ll go over to Washington and Oregon and proceed from there. Like every other year, we’ll end up in Arizona but who knows what adventures we’ll have along the way?!

Travelling is fun, eh?!