Writing in Montana

Today dawned bright and the few clouds dissipated leaving behind a clear sky. August is my favorite month for watching meteors. Our unobstructed view from northwest to east makes sitting on the deck a comfortable location for stargazing and with little light pollution.

I have so many interests and I don’t have for all of them. I seem to come up with a new project every day and found YouTube is my friend. It is surprising what you can learn from short tutorials – everything from formatting to designing your own book covers. I’ll share some favorite things that stimulate my writing productivity. I have finished ten books in the past ten years, two of them are still in an editing phase and I hope to publish them in 2022. I published #8 today.

The Perseid meteor shower peaks August 11th but I have seen a few already. The shower is active between July 14th and September 1st. At the peak, the estimate is 50-75 meteors per hour but in the past, some of my best viewing times were about 30 per hour between midnight and 0200.

There are always satellites transiting and I have seen a couple of the Starlink Satellite trains. The first one I saw overhead was shocking, a UFO to me until I realized what it was. An ice fisherman friend has seen many of them when gazing at the starry black sky from frozen lakes. Here is a link if you haven’t seen them:

If you are interested in watching the International Space Station transit, you can find when it will be visible in your area at:

Weather in the past week has been hot for us here in the northern mountains, nearing 100 degrees a couple of days. A worrisome forest fire blew up yesterday about fifty miles south of here along Flathead Lake but there is no wind to drive the flames this morning. I’m hoping they have controlled the spread, protecting lives and land. Last year our skies were often obscured by smoke pollution from western fires, so meteor viewing was poor. I hope it is better this year and we are spared a bad fire season.

I am happy to be home and celebrating my 80th birthday with Tom, surrounded by furry friends and things I enjoy. My furry and feathered friends are close by. They keep me company when I ‘m writing. The sunny room on the north side of the house has become a plant nursery, they keep me company, too, making morning rounds in the plant ICU to see how everyone is doing.

I have three avocado trees planted from seeds that have reached the ceiling, though haven’t produced any fruit. However, my lime tree is producing and I recently enjoyed a gin and tonic on a hot day made with a lime I grew. My Hoya plant of Hawaiian vintage is climbing up the walls and produces multiple flowers that are beautiful. A recent venture is to nurture African violets and was delighted to see one newly rooted leaf has given birth and needs no resuscitation!

Siniy, my feral cat rescued a year ago was very wild, but now she lets me brush her every day and has a special friendship with a neighborhood deer I named Lucky. She is a wonderful doe that suffered an open fracture of her hind leg about six years ago. I worried she wouldn’t survive but is resilient. The leg healed, very crooked, but she walks well and brings babies to visit most days, twins last year and a singlet this summer. She grooms the fawn and even grooms the cat.

My dogs bring joy, too. Vaxine is our rescue doggie who helped us get through the COVID social separation period. She is a joyful wonderful German shepherd mix who loves the sprinkler and gets along well with 12-year-old Gracie. We adopted her from a shelter. Vaxine is about two years old and had been abused. She has buckshot in her face and had many broken teeth. She recently had a root canal procedure then a filling in a lower fang, and six other teeth repaired. Now, she has a beautiful but costly smile 🙂

The photos below show some of my furry writing friends and things that make me smile. We also have a flock of wild turkeys. The funny babies are about the size of chickens. I practice photography skills on my children.

I hope this day finds you happy and with a passion, something that makes you
smile and have a reason to get up and meet each day. I used to think age 40 was very
old, now I have doubled that age and my view has changed. I only feel old
when I look in the mirror and see my mother. But she was a positive dynamic role
model who believed there was a solution to every problem. I feel very fortunate
to have known her.

This morning, I drank my first cup of favorite hazelnut coffee on the deck with the dogs as we watched sunrise to the music of birdsong. Then, I went to work. After a few hours to wait for the safety of bright light to avoid the neighborhood black bear, I took Vaxine for a walk. 

Wishing you a happy day and a beautiful sunset.


Betty and writng friends.

About bettykuffel

Author and retired medical doctor with broad interests in writing, flying, photography and outdoor life. She has Indie published 7 books, fiction & non-fiction, all available on Amazon. Writing projects include: multiple books of fiction: a medical thriller series, a psychological thriller set in 1960 co-authored with her sister Bev, and others in process. Dr. Kuffel lives in MT with husband Tom, two dogs and neighborhood deer.
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  1. carla chapin says:

    How festive! Life in moments inspired me to become more aware . . . The pics are priceless!

  2. Wonderful to see you on your Big Eight-Oh!

    Your email got stuck in spam??? Just now found it. Beautiful photos–that’s your next project–more photography!!! Love the deer and the cat.

    Love you, dear friend!

  3. Rose Ottosen says:

    Happiest of birthdays! Your post inspired me and also gave me some wisdom for taking the next creative step in crafting a more inspiring writing environment . . . Thank you! Rose Ottosen 😀

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