The Addiction Grows


From the tee on our local 15th hole, looking out towards the incredible fall colors of the trees and Norman!

It has been one year.

One year since we goofed around on a golf course with Lynn and Miki and broke 2 golf clubs and tore something in Alistair’s arm and we laughed and drank some bevvies and won the Most Honest Team award at the local pond hockey golf tournament.

The day our obsession with golf began.


Alistair, having just made par

In that year we’ve practiced, we’ve learned, we’ve watched professionals and we’ve actually improved!

I’ve played in 3 golf tournaments and didn’t completely embarrass myself in any of them.

My team-mates have been wonderfully supportive and encouraging (addicts always hang around enablers, remember) and in the Missoula tournament I subbed in at the last minute we even used my drive much of the time in a ‘best-ball’ format.


Little girl with her Glacier Ice Rink golf challenge team-mates and the bar-car drivers. Cheers!

Thanks Mitch, Tom and Brett for a fun day and thanks, Mike for not being able to attend.

And thanks, Tom, again for asking me to join in this year’s pond hockey golf tournament a week ago.

I played with Tom, his dad and his father-in-law… 2 guys in their 70s getting out, hitting balls, laughing and enjoying a great day together. We had some spectacular shots on the Marshmallow Drive hole and my drive at the mandatory Happy Gilmore Drive Hole made the local newspaper.


Tom, nailing that marshmallow!


Seeley Swan Pathfinder… glad they captioned this

We have created back-yard practice ranges in both Bismarck and Seeley Lake.

Alistair has large round hay bales stacked up with a tarp covering them. He drives into them or works on pitching over top of them.


Fyfe’s Driving & Pitching Range

We both work on chipping into round black grain buckets and I can work on pitching across the back yard here in Montana.

Its been such a kick seeing little improvements as we play.

Like, not having to take a second drive once in 18 holes.



Or not swinging-and-missing… I honestly haven’t done that in a couple of weeks now!

And we continue to laugh with each other and talk about the game and listen to Spirit of UB point out Subarus on the highway or hear Spirit of Loki say, in her gravelly voice, “Lets DO this thing!”

Ball finding is a highlight, even if we’re mavericks about it.


What sign?

We’ve learned that the ultimate in ball-finding is after a tournament. I mean, its a no-brainer when you think about it but this is our first season and our faces light up as we discover these things, whipping the ball grabber out of my bag, almost skipping to the creeks. Even if we play crappy golf its still a win if we end up ahead on the ball count.

We’ve met a lot of new people and wave at each other when we recognize golf carts or golf styles. Or my outfits.

I love my golf wardrobe.

Even more so now that Victoria’s Secret makes a cute golf skort!


My VS skort… need to get it in black as well…

We’ve enjoyed following the PGA, learning different styles of play and watching players hit their stride, like Rory McIlroy and Billy Horshel. Its so exciting right now with the Ryder Cup being one week away! Its in Scotland this year and the European team is strong.

They have the young Victor Dubuisson from France, who our ferret, Phillipa is in love with. Phillipa and Calypso are French and they constantly debate the play of Dubuisson and the Italian Molinari brothers with Luigi… our Italian ferret.


Calypso and Luigi… talking Dubuisson vs Molinari

Phillipa loves Dubuisson’s red pants, his goatee and his accent. Personally, I think he’s an excellent player who would do well on the PGA alongside other Euro greats like McIlroy, Rose, Garcia and GMac.

I love loving this game.


Loving the game, ready to tee off!

I’ve learned it is the perfect outlet for me when my head is full of a million other things. When Alistair is in Bismarck I prefer to play alone rather than with everyone who invites me along. It is, perhaps, the physical version of writing in my journal… a release.

It is coming in quite handy right now as I worry about our little Loki.


Snoring in my lap as I write this blog

Loki woke up with what we call an Acute Eye a couple of mornings ago.

It wasn’t a typical red-eye or soreness. This was a hugely swollen globe with thickened, red eyelids, some drainage and, for the first time, pain.

She swiped and pawed at it as much as she could if I wasn’t holding her. Thankfully I had some meds for inflammation and eye ointment but I’m not 100% certain we are going to save this eye.

Not that she needs it, being mostly blind, but I do think she perceives light. I’d also just like to avoid surgery altogether in this slightly high-risk senior girl.


Sleep-chewing on her friend, Porter’s toy this summer

The specialists are on board and I got stronger eye meds yesterday in Missoula. The swelling is gone, as is the discomfort. She and I will hit the road once more this year to Great Falls bright and early tomorrow morning to see about keeping the eye.

Which is why I will go outside soon to our gorgeous local golf course and I will hit balls.


Managed a par on the par 4 10th hole even!

And maybe I’ll make par and maybe I’ll make birdie or maybe I’ll even swing-and-miss.

I don’t care. I want to clear my mind and make it open for tomorrow so I can be a stronger, better Step-Gammy for Loki.

Alistair is in Bismarck so I’ll play alone and hopefully nobody will invite me to play today.

Hopefully I will swing well.

Hopefully the Ryder Cup is as exciting as the ferrets and we are hoping.

Hopefully Loki will keep her eye.

And hopefully golf will continue to be a fun passion for Alistair and I. A torn medial meniscus couldn’t stop him swinging golf clubs this summer so I foresee a lot of golf in our futures.


24 hours post-op for medial meniscus repair…

And a lot of practicing.

And learning.

And colorful skorts and gloves.

And laughing.


Branching out, playing at the Ranch Club in Missoula


Clearing our minds out at the Ranch Club



So I’ve Written This Book…


My first novel!!!

I’ve been busy this past winter and spring.

I wrote and published a book.

I focused. I researched. I researched some more.

And more.

I drank coffee and tea and corrected and edited and shared with only a handful of people but I sat down and wrote a book.


The dogs during a snowy driveway walk last winter

It helped that the snow never stopped coming down for weeks.

The walls of snow lining the driveway were taller than all of the dogs.

I would plow and shovel in the mornings and write in the afternoons.

It wasn’t like I could play golf.

Or do much of anything outside, really.

Then it got super cold and the big tractor gelled up and the batteries died in the trucks and Loki wouldn’t go outside to piddle and my eyes hurt in the wind and it was painful to breathe and I wasn’t loving the snow as much for a few days but it eventually passed.


Hey, Winter, you’re number one!

I actually loved having the time to write.

To create characters and their families and places in time.

To allow these individuals to learn and react and create a world reacting along with them.

I have always loved writing.

I have kept a journal since I was 8 years old.

I don’t write in it every day and there are gaps over the years where maybe I didn’t have a blank journal to write in or I forgot to bring one along on a trip but for the most part, the last 34 years of my life are pretty well recorded.


The Collection

Complete with the odd plane ticket or concert ticket stub or something special to remember.

My journal has been my best friend many times over the years.

I tell it anything. And everything.

It doesn’t judge me and it doesn’t ask questions.

It doesn’t offer any advice or tell me my thoughts are inappropriate or wrong.

It also doesn’t tell me I’m correct about things or that I’m doing something the right way.


my current journal…love the aloha theme

It just offers me space to share what is going on in my head and in my mind whenever I need to.

Alistair has instructions to burn or publish the collection if I die before him.


What is left of my Dana, Paula and May series

I started writing books when I was 8 years old, as well.

My “Dana, Paula and May” series followed 3 young women around as they solved crimes and wore fancy dresses.

I illustrated these books and my third grade teacher allowed me to put them alongside the real books in the library area of our classroom.

I was lucky to have a teacher who nurtured me and my creativity like that.

The same teacher encouraged me to get the whole class involved in a play I wrote. Something about a prince being granted three wishes.

I cast the play and we practiced it and then we performed it on stage for the rest of the school.

My mom even came in and taught us all how to do The Hustle for the dance-party section of the play.

Man, I wish we had digital cameras back then.

I kept writing.

Not just the journal but some poems and monologues.

My high school drama teacher was also our librarian and she would suggest literature for me to read and we would discuss stories together.

She let me put a monologue on stage for people to watch.

I was lucky to have another teacher believe in me and my zany ideas and fantasies and dreams.

I know my imagination and creation of characters has driven some people nuts.

Like the whole Rhonda thing…


Rhonda Alyssa Koftinoff Fyfe… in my purse

(Rest assured, I will tell Rhonda’s story here but that’s for another time…)

And the singing ferrets and dancing cats and know-it-all Spaniels and the mixed breed, UB who has to comment about every Subaru on the road.

My imagination knows no bounds but I do know when to reign it in.

Or, I mostly have that figured out.

Its just that there is so much going on in my mind that I have to write it down or create it or video it.

This is probably why I don’t sleep much.

I always slept walked and talked as a kid but the insomnia didn’t start until I was 8 years old.

That was a huge year for me.

Our family moved from Vancouver where I was in love with school and ballet.

I was ready for toe shoes and the fast track to being a professional dancer. I still miss it.

For some reason when we moved to the small town of Grand Forks my brain tweaked and I stopped sleeping and my parents worried and my creativity took off.

I embrace it now and know how to sort of manage the sleep thing. Sort of. When I started sleep walking again last year and woke up outside of our cabin in the middle of a campground I realized stress from the clinic was taking over and my creative side was MIA.

So I closed the clinic.

And I wrote a book.


The first one…

I’m so freaking excited its not even funny.

Lost and Found in Missing Lake is a teen/young adult fictional story about a 15 year-old and his dad and stepmom and their small town in Montana.

Luke and his dad want to get serious about running their sled dogs.

Jackie, the stepmom, is a disillusioned veterinarian (a bit on the nose, I’ll admit); Luke helps her out a lot and together they meet some amazing individuals. This is where a bit of fun fantasy kicks in but I won’t spoil it for you.

Luke deals with a new school, having to make new friends, acne, driving and all of the emotional issues of adolescence and he shares it with the reader.

I miss him and his friends and I honestly can’t wait to write more about them. And Tabitha.


I self published because I got bored waiting for agents to respond to my queries.

Every book on writing suggests  you should submit to no less than 50 and more likely 250 agents before one will accept your work.

I submitted to 10.

I waited week after week to hear back and finally spent some serious time researching and editing and re-editing and editing some more and getting my friends and hubby to edit and found a great website to help me publish my book.

I’m pumped!

I’m setting up book signings.

I’m getting copies to good friends and people who I want to read my story.

Its a bit scary at times because this is from my imagination… its very personal.

And now its very real and in print and available through all Amazon outlets.

So now its all about the marketing, which is also why I’m writing about it here.

If you read it and you like it, please say so.

Or, get on Amazon and comment on it there. That’s how the book will get more promotion and more people will get to read about Luke and his cool dogs and his hippie English teacher and their sharing sessions and learn a bit of veterinary medicine and discover some amazing creatures as well.

Alistair, Dona, Gary, Whitney, Julie, Joshua, Lindsay and Andrea were my test audiences and sources of encouragement and laughter. Thanks, Gang.

And thanks, Mr.Tournemille and Ms.Cooke for letting me be me… as crazy as ‘me’ is.