R.B. McNEIL

R.B. McNEIL

I am fortunate to live in the Montana wilderness vicinity wherein I can view parts of Glacier Park, The Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Great Bear Wilderness areas from my home.
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  • Carol King's Connection to My Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
    These are delicious cookies that are easy to make and always turn out great.
  • Uterine Fibroids Can Be Difficult to Diagnose
    My search to find out what was causing major changes during my menses began with being tested to determine whether I was just crazy or actually had something wrong with me.
  • An I.R.S. Audit is Never a Good Thing
    Have you ever been afraid of your mail? I have thanks to the Internal Revenue Service. The right thing to do when the first letter comes is respond as quickly as possible.
  • Beatlemania: After Fifty Years I Still Know All the Words
    As a sixteen year old in 1964, I was in the age group that went totally gaga over the Beatles. Now, fifty years later, I'm still a fan and I admit I always sing along to their music.
  • So You're Now a Chef: What's Next?
    Being a chef is not totally about being a great cook. Here are a few management ideas that have helped me over the course of my career as a professional cook.
  • First Person: Surviving Sub-Zero Weather in Glacier National Park
    The bright sun sparkling on the snow laden tree branches is deceptive as we ride out a frigid arctic air sysem creating sub-zero temperatures in western Montana.
  • The Fifties Ended in the Fall of 1963
    Life was good growing up in Salt Lake City during the fifties and sixties. We felt safe and optimistic until John F. Kennedy's murder shook our secure little world.
  • First Person: At 65, a Little Tired and Leaning Toward Retirement -- Again
    It occurred to me recently that I have been working since age thirteen. That's fifty-three years. I still get asked to work. I still am able to work, but should I?
  • Memories of the "I Have a Dream Speech"
    M.L. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech has been a part of my life for fifty years. I am proud to have been a member of the N.A.A.C.P. at the time he delivered the speech.
  • Discovering My Genetic Disease
    I've had weird feet and balance problems my whole life. It was only when I developed neuropathy in my feet that I knew something was wrong. It has been a lengthy process, but I found the answer.
  • Big Box Stores Benefit Senior Citizens
    As a senior citizen, I live on a fixed income. Saving money on buying everyday household items makes sense. I can count on my local big box store for great buys on what I need but I avoid fresh foods.
  • The Un-Bossy Boss
    Motivating your staff to understand what your business vision is can be a manager's most difficult job. I work at keeping myself under control so that my staff knows what to expect when I am working with them.
  • First Person: Fearlessly Retired in Spite of Life's Curveballs
    It is difficult to believe that I never have to go to a job again. It is a good feeling, but getting to this point has taken discipline and hard work after losing nearly every thing in my forties.
  • Winter Solstice is Iffy This Year
    Here in Glacier Park a group of us celebrate winter solstice every December 21st. We think the Mayans picked the perfect date for the world's end since we'll be partying anyway.
  • Photos: Early Snows Dust the Glacier National Park Vicinity
    It is difficult to take a bad photograph of the scenery in the Glacier National Park area. The hard job for me was deciding which ones to use here. Enjoy!
  • Snowshoeing in Glacier Park and Nearby Wilderness Areas
    If you're thinking about snowshoeing this winter, why not visit the Glacier Park area? There are many trails which are all beautiful, peaceful, and accessible. This article describes a few of them.
  • Finesse Triumphs in the Third Presidential Debate
    The final presidential debate has now ended and while this election season is getting 'long in the tooth' the race is still too close to call. Here are a few thoughts about tonight's debate.
  • George McGovern and My Memories of the Vietnam Era
    Viet Nam affected our lives in the sixties on many levels. We planned our futures and put our dreams on hold for that stupid senseless war. George McGovern was among the first to oppose it. Thank god he did.
  • Divorce: Splitting the Sheets with My Business Partner
    Sadly, divorce is too common these days. Relationships end and emotions can become very open and public. My ex-husband and I found through our divorce process that keeping cool heads would pay off and allow us to move on with our lives.
  • 2012 Festivals Near Glacier National Park
    It is not difficult to find a variety of things to do in the Glacier National Park area. Besides the sight-seeing and outdoor activities there are many festivals well worth attendintg.
  • First Person: They're Drilling for Oil and Natural Gas in Our Backyard, But I Have Mixed Feelings
    Montana is beginning to experience the oil boom which has hit our neighboring state, North Dakota. As mineral rights owners, we have great concerns about allowing the exploration in our area.
    Also published on:
  • Orhan Pamuk: An Author Well Worth Reading
    Reading is a life-long passion of mine. However, finding an author worth reading can be challenging. I recommend Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish writer. His suspense-filled novels are difficult to put down once started.
  • Exercising My Baby Boomer Brain
    As we age staying mentally 'with it' becomes more and more important. With Alzheimer's in my family I am probably more aware of mental fitness than most. Here are a few ways I exercise my brain.
  • As Grizzlies Awaken
    Spring means the end of the long winter's sleep called hibernation. This poem describes what accompanies the bear's awakening.
  • Lesser Known Historical Fiction Writers
    Reading a good historical fiction novel is both enjoyable and educational. Getting totally absorbed by a story sets historic events or time periods in very memorable contest.
  • Eating Well on the Mediterranean Diet
    As a senior citizen my chronic illnesses make being on a healthy diet a necessity. I began following the Mediterranean diet plan a few weeks ago. It is satisfying my needs in a variety of ways.
  • The Up and Downs of Late in Life Marriage
    Once a person is past age fifty, he is expected to be settled down and stable. As the years pass, it becomes more difficult to make radical life changes. I was personally hesitant to remarry when I was fifty. It seems my fears were wee-grounded.
  • Long Term Care Coverage: My Personal Fail-safe
    As we become more elderly, we cannot predict our exact path to the end of our lives. It is important to plan for the future. Doing so has given me peace of mind.
  • Staying Fit as an Aging Baby Boomer
    As we age it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves. One was to do that is by excercising to stay fit and keep moving.
  • The Mother I Will Never Meet
    Other adopted children must feel as I do that they miss not ever knowing their real mothers. I always knew my life was probably better. I wish I could tell my mother that everything is OK.
  • Not so Famous Contemporary Writers
    While I generally read the Nobel Prize author's work every year, I seldom read the glitiest most hyped novels. There are plenty of other good enduring writers to read. Here are a few suggestions.
  • Hiding My OCD
    People wear wigs for several reasons. Baldness and bad hair are two of them. An OCD called trich is the other compelling reason to wear them. I suffer from this incurable condition.
  • Celebrate Cinco De Mayo in Whitefish, Montana
    It is lucky this year that Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday. There is no place better that Whitefish to celebrate this holiday.
  • Earth Day Every Day
    We need to worry about what we are leaving to future generations in terms of the condition of our planet earth. The sistina is about that responsibility.
  • First Person: Over 60 and Still Facing Student Loan Debt
    We are over 60 and are being harassed for a 38-year-old loan that we cannot pay. Bankruptcy is not an option for this type of loan. We cannot afford legal help. We feel trapped by something that is out of our control.
    Also published on:
  • The Woman at Nyaak Flats
    This is a 'what if' type of story. It's probably not true, but what if it was?
  • Budgeting Baby Boomer
    The hassle of forgetting to make payments or not having enough money to pay bills is one no one needs as a senior citizen. I have a fairly simple plan which helps me stay in control as I age.
  • Eggies
    Wouldn't it be great to boil eggs and not have to peep them? This is what I was hoping for when I bought a product which advertised perfect hard-boiled eggs without shells.
  • An Easter Dinner Complete with Wine Choices to Satisfy Special Diets
    For various reasons people don't eat meat or can't eat gluten. If your Easter dinner table includes people with special diet preferences, the meal can get complicated. Here is a simple elegant meal which can satisfy everyone.
  • Budget Friendly Restaurants for Easter Brunch in the Flathead
    In Flathead County we are sstill dealing with the economic turn down making it important to spend wisely. Here are some budget friendly restaurant in the Kalispell, Mt. area.
  • First Person: Our Career Dropout Was a Fresh Start
    We did a frightening thing when we quit our secure jobs. There are no regrets as our lives are continuing to evolve.
  • Road Trip
    Being trapped in a cramped car for a long road trip with someone trying to entertain you with constant boring chatter is something we have all experienced
  • Romney, Santorum, Paul, Gingrich: Growing Electability Concerns
    I have run for elected office numerous times. Sadly, the best intentions and support do not make a candidate electable. The harsh reality is that voters either want you or they don't. Three of the 2012 candidates will need to accept this reality soon.
  • Mt. Nicholas
    On a clear day a glorious mountain is visible in Glacier Park off hi-way #2 in Montana. It is my favorite site especially after a light snow with the sun shining on it.
  • The Last Valentine's Day
    This story is about a woman facing old age who decided not to cling to her past. She chose Valentine's Day to dispose of the mementos of her love live in her own way.
  • Early Spring Antler Hunt
    In the early spring many people who live near remote areas scour the woods searching for antlers shed by deer, elk and moose. This is a flash fiction story about one such hunt.
  • Wrinkles
    Inevitability of a woman's aging is the subject of this Shakespearean style sonnet.
  • Short Daylight
    In December, those of us who live in the wintery north where daylight grows shorter, long for any sign that spring may eventually arrive. Winter Solstice is the actual turning point where dawn begins to break earlier each morning.
  • Commuting with Strangers
    What if you were totally alone commuting to work? This flash fiction piece creates a scenario where a lone driviner heads easts alone on a mountain hiway early each morning.
  • Celebrate the Fourth of July Near Glacier National Park
    In my younger days, a friend and I took an annual plunge into the frigid waters of Whitefish Lake every 4th of July. These days the parades and fireworks displays are more inviting. Here is what's happening this year In northwest Montana.
  • The Rocket's Red Glare
    A fireworks display always brings delight to a day filled with 'ooh ahh' as we celebrate our nation's birthday.
  • Try Sherman Alexie
    It is difficult to pick a favorite short story writer. I selected Sherman Alexie as his stories portray the ongoing Native American struggle between the traditions of the old ways and the modern forces which undermine them.
  • The Dancer
    This beautiful art deco era candle holder is the inspiration for a poem about a lost lover.
  • Mind Set
    Sometimes I think I'd like to be less responsible. This poem in the sestina format is about that.
  • Sasquatch Survived! (again)
    Besides the stunning vistas of Glacier National Park and the surrounding wilderness areas, visitors can enhance their vacations here by attending festivals and other nearby events scheduled for this summer.
  • Cabin Rentals Near Glacier National Park
    A little known network of cabins operated by the U.S. Forest Service exists across the United States. The cabins are available to rent year around and provide unique opportunites for a special get-a-way or vacation.
  • Looking Up
    This is a poem for those of us who are left behind.
  • A Spoon to Remember
    A hand-carved wooden spoon holds lasting meaning for a woman whose life has spanned growing up in the old west of the late 1800's when railroads were being built until modern times.
  • Bring Your Skates to Glacier National Park
    Skating of all types is alive and well in the Flathead. There are several skate board facilities that are free to use plus a system of trails for inline skaters is available from March through October. Best of all skating is free!
  • Elk and Other Mothers
    We spend a large part of our time observing wild life as it comes and goes on our property adjacent to Glacier National Park. Every day is different and fascinating.
  • The Dish
    This poem is dedicated to my somewhat homely but beautifully vital satellite dish.
  • Fishing with a Stranger
    Fishing is more difficult than it looks if you've never done it before. A novice fisherman trapped in a tiny boat with a diehard fly fisherman is not a good way to learn the sport.
  • Rhubarb Stuffed French Toast
    This unusual use for rhubarb goes together fast. The cook can adjust the sweetness and the ingredients according to what is available.
  • The Flathead Celebrates Cinco De Mayo
    Here's a guide for those of us living in northwest Montana who want to help Mexico celebrate its national holiday, Cinco de Mayo.
  • A Spring Road Trip with Dogs
    We still have several feet of snow left as winter refuses to leave. My dogs and I decided to take a trip to find bare ground and other signs that spring might come soon.
  • Praying for a Miracle
    A sonnet means different things to different people and hopefully conjures up a vivid image within its verse.
  • Mom's Favorite Breakfast Rolls
    These delicious rolls are easy to make and they are delicious without being too sweet.
  • Make Friends with Your Horses
    Reprogram bad habits and teach your horse to trust you. When the weather is too crummy for riding or there's no time, you can alter horse behavior by subtly training him every day. Here are a few ways to help your horse, your vet and your farrier.
  • Road Trip: Ten Albums for Boomers
    Baby Boomers know music. A mind-blowing volume of timeless albums has been produced from the sixties to the present. Here is a representative selection to keep close at hand for long road trips or commutes to work.
  • Golfing in the Flathead and Glacier National Park
    An avid golfer could easily spend many days golfing in northwestern Montana where golf clubs as well as a camera to capture beautiful vistas and wildlife are necessary.
  • Seattle Centered Day Trips
    While there is much to see and do right in Seattle, the same is true of nearby areas. A trip to Seattle is not complete without experiencing at least one day trip to a nearby wonder.
  • A Little Blue Pill (Or Two)
    It was not going to be an ordinary Saturday night.
  • Trump is No John Wayne
    Donald Trump may decide to be a candidate for the 2012 Presidential primary. He has several large challenges he must overcome to be successful in his bid to be the Republican Candidate.
  • Management by Wandering Around
    Companies need managers. Managers need to be effective for the health of the company and to keep their jobs. Here is look a several management styles.
  • Knife Wielding in the Home Kitchen
    Knives are an important part of everyday cooking. Knowing how to use knives and which blade works best makes preparing meals much easier.
  • Spoiled, Rotten and Rancid
    Anyone who cooks for family and friends needs to know how easy it is to cause food-borne illness. The following will tell you how to keep people who eat in your kitchen safe.
  • Trust Your Nose for Safety
    A simple sniff of meat, poultry and seafood can tell a cook whether it's safe to cook and serve. Cooking will not make it safe if it smells bad after using a simple technique.
  • Firing - a Necessary Skill for Employers
    A difficult job any boss has is firing an employee. Be prepared for the enevitable. Know your state regulations.
  • Demonstrating Gets an Electronic Facelift
    Compared to the 1960's, protests are longer, stronger, and seem to be propelling real change around this country and around the world. The common thread for the current impetus is the internet.
  • Spring Comes Slowly to Glacier National Park and the Flathead Gets Ready
    An unusually tough winter has many longing for any signs of spring.
  • My Brother Still Hates Me
    With a little help from Charles Manson and a childhood friend I was able to pull off an April Fool's prank on my brother that still makes him cringe. Hee Hee!
  • Hiking in and Around Glacier National Park
    The best way to enjoy and get to know Glacier National Park and the nearby areas is not by car. Hiking any of the hundreds of trails will give visitors a deep appreciation of what Western Montana has to offer.
  • Mountain Biking Around Western Montana
    We have dozens of areas in Western Montana which appeal to mountain bike enthusiasts of all skill levels from beginners to seasoned single track seekers.
  • Bear Grass
    Every seventh year in the late spring an odd looking plant called bear grass blooms very lushly. It has been used for centuries by animals and humans for food and baskets.
  • Mohammed Murphy
    We're all sort of Irish. Some become Irish for business and other reasons, but we all want to be Irish, even if it's just for the day, on Saint Patrick's Day
  • Egg Trivia and Techniques
    Here are a few fun egg facts which are both useful and entertaining along with exactly how to hard boil eggs perfectly every time.
  • Casper
    If you ever wondered what your kitty is really thinking this story might give you some insight.
  • Please Peel the Portabellas
    Mushrooms in today's world are not the canned rubber bands of the old days. The fresh button mushrooms are so much nicer and other varieties are getting better and better.
  • Steak Cooking Blue Rare to Well Done
    If you feel like cooking steaks involves guesswork, this article will give you the tools to know exactly how a steak is cooked every time.
  • Governor Schweitzer's New Wolf Directives
    Montana has a Wolf infestation. Governor Schweitzer has issued new state wolf management policies which are in direct opposition to the Endangered Species Act. Most Montanans feel it's about time we did something about our wolf problem.
  • Coffee Shops in the Flathead
    Believe it or not coffee is roasted fresh daily in the Flathead Valley. Coffee drinking is an important ritual here where friends meet daily to enjoy a cuppa and visit.
  • Trump Could Face Palin and Others in 2012 Primary
    Two hi-profile media celebrities may go head to head if Sarah Palin and Donald Trump both decide to enter the 2012 Republican candidate race.
  • A Day Trip to Whitefish Big Mountain
    We locals still call our ski resort The Big Mountain. It is a wonderful place to ski, but locals who don't like snow sports can have a great time up on Big Mountain, too.
  • Trapping Wild Kittens
    A wild mama cat's five kittens including one with a missing foot became a rescue project for us last fall.
  • Pink Clock Radio
    Some memories can be triggered by sounds, smells or even an old clock radio.
  • Can Rehberg Beat Tester?
    In a surprise move, Representative Denny Rehberg announced he would challange Senator Jon Tester in 2012.
  • Wellington and Wine for Your Valentine
    This stunning classic dish is fairly easy to make and pairs well with a variety of red wines. The result is impressive and sure to please your Valentine.
  • FCIC Says We're All to Blame (Nearly)
    The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has concluded its 18-month study of what triggered the financial melt down the United States experienced in 2008.
  • A Goofy Hospital Stay
    Beyond the sanitized corridors of a hospital there is a lot of activity. Large and small dramas unfold hourly and can be quite surreal.
  • Horse Care in Extreme Weather Part Two
    Giving special diets to horses and dealing with collick during harsh winter conditions are dealt with in the second part of this winter horse care series.
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