Archive: July 2013

Berry Good News


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Do you seeeeee that?

No? Really? Look closer.

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Now you see it, right?

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Yessssss!

That is the evidence of a great huckleberry season.

Most evenings after a long day of working, my friend, Sherri, and I can be found in the huckleberry patch. But last Saturday, while she celebrated her Momma’s 83rd birthday, my daughter and grandson visited the patch with me first thing in the morning.

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I took a picture of this snag and this log to remind me where I wanted to hike back to. The berries were huge and they were everywhere.

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It was huckleberry heaven for them. And me.

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Kelsie couldn’t believe her stash.

I am not exaggerating. For the last HOUR, Trey ate all the berries he picked.

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He had to show me this one he had between his teeth. I took a really quick pic and went right back to picking.

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Life is berry good.

 

 


More of Doxology – Update for Kath


If you’re one of those people who never writes or marks in your Bible, you might want to stop right here. We got Part 2 of the Doxology message this morning and Jude 24 and 25 have a whole lotta new info surrounding them in the margins of my Bible. Perhaps you will recall that a doxology is a hymn of praise to God and/or to the Holy Trinity. Jesus’ little brother, Jude, penned a good one between about 70 – 80 A.D. when he wrote:

“Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
to the only wise God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory and majesty, dominion and power both now and forevermore. Amen.”

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Well, this week, Pastor Brian’s emphasis was on two things:

the commas, and the conclusion.

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Let me explain.

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After all those times of quoting Jude 24 and 25, when he reread it this week, the Holy Spirit gave him a fresh pair of spiritual eyes and ears. He’d always recited it as if it were 2 separate verses when, serendipitously, the many commas just jumped out at him. Commas indicate a continuous thought, linking the ideas all together. And when you read or write or recite it that way, the doxology of it is a beautiful, cohesive thing.

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The other thing that stuck out was that 3 letter word, “NOW,” followed by “and forevermore.” So all that this verse contains is actually taking place in the present, at this moment, at this time, here and now, just now, right now, this day. Let that sink in, then reread this amazing little passage of hope and heartening triumph.

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It might sound something like this:

“Now unto Him who is able right now

to keep you from falling at this moment,

and to present you faultless at this time

before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy here and now,

to the only wise God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord this day

be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forevermore.”

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As you sit reading these words, He’s there. Greet Him. Thank Him. Praise Him. Invite Him to stay. Now unto Him who is able. He must love you an awful lot to stand you in His presence here and now, moment by moment, day by day. Try to remember this truth as you go through each situation life presents you and have that doxology ready to offer Him from your heart.

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And hey, thank Him for commas while you’re at it.


Doxology


posted by Donna

Recently, our pastor did a talk on doxologies. It was one of those words I’ve heard my whole adult life but could never have given you a definition for. Can you? What would you say a doxology is? Some of you probably know a doxology or two.

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Like singing… “Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; praise Him, all creatures here below; praise Him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen” With lots of emphasis on the “AHHHHH MENNNN!” That doxology was written by Thomas Ken, an Anglican bishop in 1674.

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It was a variation on Gloria Patri (also called Lesser Doxology, though I hope that doesn’t mean what it sounds like it means..): “Glory be to the Father and to the Son,and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.” I’ve never heard that sung but I heard it spoken often in the Catholic Church where I began my spiritual learning.

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When I googled “doxology”, Encyclopedia Brittanica listed “Gloria, in excelsis Deo”: “Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, Almighty God and Father, we worship You. We give You thanks. We praise You for Your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us. You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For You alone are the Holy One, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father. Amen.” I heard that a lot, too, at St. John’s.

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Then I remembered the hymn we always sing at Christmas:

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains

Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria
In Excelsis Deo

And remember how we draw out the glo o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o oria?

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Well, have you figured out what a doxology is?

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It is a hymn of praise to God, to the Holy Trinity, a short declaration of faith in the co-equality of the 3 persons of the Holy Trinity.

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At the end of his talk, our pastor tied it all together. His closing prayer, every week for the past 6 years, has been another doxology, one found in the book of Jude. He told us that he’s always been fascinated with this little book because Jude, who was a half-brother to Jesus, yet he opens his book with this: “Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ, and a brother of James.” Interesting beginning, hiding the fact that he was Jesus’s kin yet mentions their other brother, James. And here’s how he ended his 25-verse book:

“Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
to the only wise God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory and majesty, dominion and power both now and forevermore. Amen”

With emphasis on the “Now unto Him who is able.”

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A Cowboy’s Dream


posted by Robin

Let me tell you a little more about my wild-land firefighting cowboy husband.

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He’s got a cowboy’s dream . . . a dream of one day owning cows of his own.

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He doesn’t want to run a cow/calf operation, rather grow feeder/stocker calves where he’d buy in the spring and sell in the fall.

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For the past couple of years he’s helped a friend and his family with their cows, either bringing them down the mountain from summer grazing, or branding in the spring. Doing so has re-ignited this dream.

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We’d like for our kids to learn about ranching life . . .

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and the many life lessons that often accompany this lifestyle.

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For now, we’re starting with chickens . . .

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and leaving these little ones to our friends,

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as we work towards our goal of owning cows and ranching full-time.

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(They look like naturals, don’t you think?)


A “Special” Day


posted by Chelsea

Wednesday was our Anniversary.  This Anniversary marked 9 years of Holy Matrimony.  Most of you know that we recently moved and while the details are a bit logistical and complicated I can tell you that we are still doing the ranching thing.  Our cows are “at home” and will join us this fall when they come off summer range.  Our little 800 square foot house is rented out and we now live in a 7 bedroom (?!) farmhouse.

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I’m giving Charlotte the credit for the big house- when she found out we were moving she said she was going to “pray us into a bigger house”… she must have prayed hard.  At any rate, due to the nature of our lifestyle, Wednesday (our Anniversary, remember?) was spent hauling hay.  I had the joy of driving the pickup with flatbed attached and 3 children as company.  Just to add to the joy, the pickup’s Air Conditioning decided it was even too hot for it to function and quit on us the day before.  It was only 106 degrees.  I would have complained except Buck was driving the loader tractor and the dumptruck…

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without A/C and both had very hot engines “warming” up the cab for him.

Now that the stage is set, let me tell you how I decided to start the day off.  I had just gotten a load of hay and was headed out to the hay barn to drop it off.  We’re talking 12 bales, all weighing in at about 1200 pounds.  It’s a big load.  Coming up the road I saw Buck headed my direction in the dump truck (with a trailer attached).  The road is pretty narrow and our loads were pretty big and I started to panic.  I drove to the edge of the road.  In the process, I saw a few large rocks and drove over them with the pickup.  The pickup went right over them and so I kept going.  I’d love to tell you I thought through the logistics of the loaded trailer going over the rocks, but I didn’t, not until I heard a huge puff of air… coming out of one of the trailer tires.  Buck, driving past (with plenty of room) stopped to see the damage.  I apologized.  “I’m so sorry! I just kind of panic’d when I saw you coming?”  And now I will tell you one of the many reasons I love my husband.  He can contain himself, even when I do something stupid.  “It’s Ohhh Kay, I need to go get the loader to unload you” he said as he shook his head.  Again, I apologized.  “I’m sooo sorry hunny”.  He responded, “I just thought maybe you’d stop after you ran over the first rock with the pickup…” still shaking his head.  I had no response.  I drove 30 miles to town, picked up a new tire, drove 30 miles back and halted progress by a good 2 hours.  It was special.

Considering the intense heat, I have to divert from the content at hand, and tell you a quick story.  One summer, I think home from college, my buddy Ashley and I decided that while traveling to and from rodeos in the summer heat, we needed to have some fun.  Rodeos, while they carry their own kind of fun, are for the most part, hot, dry, and dusty.  Fortunately, many of Idaho’s roadways follow a body of running water (a river!).  We stopped at most major rivers in Idaho and skinny-dipped in them all.  It was fun.  And since fun was the goal, we accomplished it.  I keep that summer tucked away in my mind so I remember that when things get hot, dry and dusty, I need to find some water.  Fortunately for us, the ranch is covered in irrigation.  Irrigation that we’ve been working our rears off to keep running- this area is so much more dry than “home”, it feels like all we do is water!  Anyway, while we’re hauling hay, one needs only to look for a pivot or a wheel-line to run through.  When I look at a pivot I see the hundreds of run-through-able sprinklers…

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and want to well, run through them!  Ashley would be so proud.  That said, on Wednesday the kids and I jumped out every chance we had and ran through the sprinklers to cool off.  It was just what we needed… and no worries, I kept my clothes on.  I’m not sure what you’d call it if you did that naked, maybe “skinny sprinkling” or “skinny irrigating”… or better yet, maybe just “embarrassing”.

Back to loading hay, I decided to liven up the day a little and start sending some “racy” text messages to Buck while he ran the loader…

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I’d wait while he loaded my trailer and the second I’d pull away I’d SEND something like this:  “U R the hottest (as in most physically attractive, not the most overheated although I’m sure U R that 2) loader driver I’ve ever seen.” A man of many letters, he would respond, “U R 2”.  Another time I wrote, “U rock my world!” A true romantic, he responded, “U 2. How many loads have you taken?”  To which I didn’t respond because I had no idea I should be counting.  And then I remembered the cardinal rule of being a ranch wife, something I should know after 9 years of Holy Matrimony- COUNT EVERYTHING YOU SEE.  If it moves, count it.  If it breathes, count it.  If it’s intended to feed something that moves and breathes, count it.

Fortunately 9 is an easy number to count to.  It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since Buck and I said our vows… seems like yesterday in so many ways.  To mark the time, I’d like to say there is no one on the planet I would rather “do life” with.  It’s been nine years with the best teammate and the hardest, most sacrificial working man I could ever ask for… and, of course, the hottest loader driver I’ve ever seen ;-)

 


W R T


posted by Donna

This spring, my good friend, Sherri, called up and we discussed going on a bike ride. Before the conversation ended, she revealed that riding the Weiser River Trail was on her bucket list. She had googled it and found reviews and descriptions of the trail which piqued her interest. She piqued mine. When a week had gone by, she called again and said she’d run into a mutual friend of ours, Ed Allen, a friend of the WRT. He told her that in about 3 weeks they were having their 7th Annual WRT Bike Ride and he encouraged Sherri to try it. In 1996, the line was railbanked and the rails and ties removed.

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That’s also the year the Friends of the Weiser River Trail was incorporated and arduous work done to create the varied trail so many now enjoy. We discussed it and it really sounded like something we’d like to do but first we had to train for it. Both of us go to exercise classes regularly and during that phase of mid-spring, we were walking at least 6 miles a week together.  The ride covered 28 miles of the 80+ mile trail, Idaho’s longest rail trail. We knew sitting on a bike seat for that length of time was the issue. So we began taking rides. We rode to North Beach (12 miles) and around Payette Lake (18 miles). She rode her bike to and from work and I rode mine weekends in Cambridge. It was $40 which is a splurge but they provided shuttle transportation, lunch, and a t-shirt.  So we signed up on the website. At that time, about 18 men and 10 women were on the roster. By the day of the ride, over 100 participated. Many, many, we later learned, make it an annual trek and wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Now I know why. I’ll go again next year. I may even go again in October when they hold the fall ride. I doubt my pictures will do it justice because I had my little Olympus but hopefully your imagination will aid you to grasp the serene settings and woodland scenery. Well, most of the way, anyway. Let’s start our journey.

The plan was to drive to Council and have our bikes shuttled back to just outside New Meadows. But as we were driving there, we noticed numerous folks leaving their bikes at the starting point so we left ours, too. This would prove a fortuitous move. They had a gal safeguarding everyones’ bikes which was a nice service. We drove on to Hornet Creek Road and parked there then got on a school bus (They had 2.) which took us back to our bikes. There were two horse trailers used to transport the bikes and volunteers were carefully packing them in with moving blankets in between each. It was quite an operation but they were obviously experienced and did a great job. Fast, too.

At the starting point, people were milling around so Sherri and I, eager to get started (Admittedly, we had a few reservations about this day.), jumped on our bikes and headed out, which made us the first ones on the trail. After a quarter of a mile,

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Sherri remembered she hadn’t started her iPhone app that calculates everything but what we had for breakfast so once that was taken care of, we sailed along on this wide, scenic road

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just marveling from left to right. We weren’t going very fast (Sherri had a mantra from the time we signed up til the time we finished: “It’s not a race.”) so it wasn’t long before a lone man passed us. Then two girls, then a couple. And as we  paddled along, yakking and ogling the scenery, probably 85% of those bikers passed us.

We rode over trestles (There’s 62 if we’d done the whole trail.)

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and past an area called Tamarack (where Evergreen Forest Products Sawmill is located)

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which I’d only ever seen as we whizzed past it on our way to Cambridge from McCall. We followed the Weiser River and small creeks,

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leaving the mountains behind. It wasn’t long before we were shedding our long sleeve shirts

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for cooler versions. Despite the fact that it was June 8th, the temperature was ideal, a bit cool in the morning, then perfect riding weather. The sun was hot then we’d re-enter the forest

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and the shade provided desirable respite. The architecture built long before the trail existed

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was enchanting and the hillsides backdropped picturesque cascading waterways.

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Sherri and I were delighted and had no desire to cover this sacred ground in any form of fast. As we talked and feasted our eyes and ears and other senses, the miles just melted away.

Hwy 95 ran parallel to our trail so we often knew right where we were in relation to it. We knew of farm houses and campgrounds and it wasn’t long before we came to the big bridge (U.S. 95)

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that takes you across the Weiser River and over Fort Hall Hill then on into Council, or, if you bear right, onto the Fruitvale-Glendale Road (formerly US 95), where I’d lived for a year while we were building our cabin in Cambridge. I’d driven over that bridge 100 times or more; now I was riding UNDER it. What a thrill. And so spectacular. A fisherman and his three dogs were walking there as we approached so he agreed to take our picture.

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This whole stretch, the next maybe 4 miles, I’d driven so many, many times on the road but now I found myself entranced with the trail as it hugged the Little Weiser River and passed by many homes I’d only seen from the other approach. It wasn’t long before we reached our lunch destination and what a spread that was! Name something, it was on those tables. They thoughtfully set up a big tent

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so everyone could enjoy the shade. Everything was so delicious it was hard not to eat and eat. Fresh fruit, lots of it, hummus, lunch meat, cheeses, and Dave’s Killer Bread, the nutty kind I love so much. Chips, pickles, cookies. Cold water. Yummy cold water. We paid for that later, I can tell you.

Now maybe you’re wondering what we did for restrooms on a 28 mile bike ride. Well, some places had port-a-potties

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and some didn’t. Our lunch spot did so we took advantage of it. It was also a good stop for reapplying sunscreen. We’d talked to a group of women

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who do the trail every year and they said the final stretch was laborious. Nonetheless, we hopped on our bikes and set off. For a little bit, it was still lovely.

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It followed the river with towering pines and dappled sunlight. But sure enough, we began the final leg of our journey and the scenery changed.

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Fewer trees.

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Ranches off in the distance.

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Hayfields

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and cow fields replaced pines and even they

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were dreaming of shade. A very limited commodity by this time. But we kept traveling on and about an hour after lunch, we completed our segment of the Weiser River Trail. Another 22 miles and I would’ve been home but that would have to wait for another day.  This day held many joys of its own.


Diesel Mechanic…In The Making


posted by Chelsea

Little man loves trucks, tractors, loaders, cars, swathers, combines, or any other type of equipment.  His ears perk up at the sound of ANY engine- whether the dump truck goes roaring past the house or he catches a view of a tractor out the window, he wants at ’em.   Getting to ride in the tractor brings the thrill to a whole new level for Cooper- his legs kick, his arms flail and he reaches for any lever, steering wheel, or button he can push.

When he gets a chance to ride/push/work on heavy equipment his size…

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… he takes it very seriously.

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Before he rides,

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he gives everything a good once-over…

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He doesn’t leave out a single part..

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The undercarriage gets a thorough check…

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The steering is tested…

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He makes sure the tires are all rolling well…

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He’s not satisfied until each tire rolls with ease…

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Little man makes sure his equipment can handle a rollover…

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Then he takes it for a push test…

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And finally, when all his checks are complete. He might throw a leg over…

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…and take her for a spin..

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And in the midst of all of it, little man is all business…

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Smiles…

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… have to be worked for.