Category Archives: Unordinary

Charlie the Dog goes Walk-About

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Last Friday I went skiing … the snow was so-so and after a few runs in the fog I headed home. Well, that’s not too unusual in my world, but that day would turn out to be nothing like the chill bucolic day I was planning.

When I headed out that morning I took my mother’s dog Charlie (the little white house dog we’ve been fostering) down into the Sweetie’s shop so he

“Aren’t I Special”? thinks Charlie the Dog

could hang out with Mala our Pudelpointer. After about half an hour of his scratching on the door Sweetie let him out to wander in the front drive area … which he’s done for the past 7 weeks.  Nothing unusual there either … except … Charlie decided to “go walk-about’.

When I walked in the door Sweetie said, “I lost Charlie”.  Oh no! I thought, my mom is going to have a stroke or something. So off go the ski boots and I went into I’ve got to find Charlie mode.  You should know though that Charlie is his own dog (read SPOILED) … when you call he goes the other way … like catch me if you can ….   You also may remember that here in Council the shop is in the middle of 97 acres of burnt dirt, rocks, and sage brush and rolling hills.  At this time of year, with unusually warm weather the ground is swampy from snow melt.  I climbed hills, took the binoculars out and scanned the hills for movement of any kind, I called, I walked looking at snow patches trying to see if there were Charlie prints anywhere.  Nope.  Quail prints, horse prints, man prints … big dog prints … no Charlie prints.

Then I drove up and down Highway 95 … well, if the little guy could make it that far (1/2 mile) to the main road, maybe someone picked him up. I drove up and down the highway a LOT .. sloooowly with my emergency flashers blinking while I was on look out for  “a body” … Nope! No body. Wheww! Home I went and made up lost dog posters and plastered them at all the gathering spots around Council. I put info on Facebook, I called veterinarians in a 60 mile radius (like Council is in the middle of nowhere so 60 miles is a good circle).  I messaged found animal services.  The result? Nothing, notta, nope, no sign of the little white house dog that doesn’t listen. And I prayed. I called my mom, I called my sister I said, pray .. and they prayed, and friends prayed and sent good thoughts.  I prayed every time I thought of that “stupid” dog.

Saturday I was all in a twist about him … it had rained the night before. I was sad, I was worried because my mother was heart broken. As I was praying, driving again down the road, I had a sense of peace calm me down and I felt that Charlie was okay.  Thinking he had been found and that someone would see one of the adverts and contact us. Talking to my mom she said she felt the same way.  No news Saturday, or Saturday night, or Sunday … someone called and said he may have been at a vet in Weiser.

… that’s 3 days of praying and watching for a gathering of crows (the body thing again), but no news is good news? I continued to feel that peacefulness and figured, well, he’s okay.  He’s either with God and he’s okay or with someone and he’s okay. Fast forward to Sunday evening (3 days after the little white dog took a powder) and 2 minutes before the end of the Superbowl.

I thought i heard a scratch at the door … we were screaming for the Eagles in those final minutes and I wasn’t certain I’d really heard anything. I went downstairs, but didn’t hear any scratching or noise. But, a thought came to mind to just open the door.

After 3 days walk-about … “Kibble! I’ll eat kibble”!!

I opened the door and that little white dog dragged himself though and stood there, head down and shaking. Some how, where ever he had been he found his way back. I yelled upstairs, “Charlie’s back”! Total shock echoed throughout the group … I picked him up, carried him upstairs and had Sweetie take a picture of him to send to my mother. He was shaking and sighing (yes, a dog can sigh). I put him down and the dog who doesn’t eat kibble unless bribed ate 2 plates of kibble, some chicken jerky, and some philly cheesesteak and probably drank a quart of water.

Where he went, how far he walked or ran, how he avoided being a coyote appetizer, or giant barn owl dinner we’ll never know. What stories he could tell. His feet are still sore and he’s sticking pretty close to the front door when he has to go out.

His return is a miracle. Charlie’s safe return is a testament to sincere prayer and faith in a loving Father in Heaven who is always aware of each of his creatures, no matter how small.  God is Wonderful.

On a separate note: Charlie will be heading back to live with Mom in a few weeks, she’s decided to return home … she says the people at the independent/assisted living apartments are OLD and though she won’t say it out loud … I don’t think she trusts us to keep Charlie  close so he won’t go walk-about again.

Life is good, isn’t it?

Indian Summer … “I gather sun rays”

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Taking a break …

My prayers have been answered! Indian Summer keep on coming!! On Wednesday in the warm sunny it was a little fishing while Sweetie went bird hunting and Monday if the weather dudes have it right we’ll be wadin’ a river, tossin’ a line savoring time.

Today Mala and I took a short hike over the hills and dales on a chunk of state property behind the pastures out back. No hurry, no rush just wandering inhaling the perfume of broken sage, sun warmed soil, and listening to the pop and rustle of die-hard grasshoppers.

Leaves are almost gone from branches, seed heads are dipping toward the ground in the slight breezes and deer tracks wander wraith like through the grasses. It’s a good place for a walk. I am grateful for this moment to build memory for the dark and snow filled days ahead, like Frederick by Leo Lionni “Frederick, why don’t you work? they asked. I do work”, said Frederick. “I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days”. When the darkness of winter closes the doors with drifted snow, and colors are hidden by white piles and grey clouds I will remember this day; the dusty motes of sage floating in the golden rays of sun, the brilliant reds and oranges of leaves letting go of branches to drop into piles below, the green tops of carrots lonely in the garden box, red globes of tomatoes in shining jars, and I’ll remember turquoise blue water bumping a sandy shore while my fly line drifts gently with the river’s tug.

Take a moment and find Frederick, read it today then read it again in the darkest of winter days and your heart will spill out all the brightness of this Indian Summer day.  Until later my friends, I’m reveling in another day of Indian Summer … such days are truly a blessing.

 

 

 

Zone of Totality …

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So there was this thing about 10 days ago that created a sensation across the states (and the world) … the total solar eclipse. Now I’m not an astronomer (I tried, but I can’t stay up all night), and it’s taken me almost my whole lifetime to learn the names of and recognize the phases of the moon. But I LOVE eclipses; total or otherwise.  I haven’t traveled across the world to watch one (or I haven’t yet), but after being an eye witness in the Zone of Totality I just might.

We’re ready … total solar eclipse 2017

Check the light, the sun is about 1/2 covered and the night wind started blowing.

When the hype started 5-6 months ago I realized that our little ‘ranch’ although not in the exact center of the path was in the zone and I immediately thought PARTY!! And what a party it was … 17 peeps made a 7 hour trek to experience totality, plus our next door neighbors (next door meaning they get in their truck to get to our place).  The hype and Facebook and twitter and newspaper articles are awash with photographs … I heard folks were disappointed they didn’t turn into vampires, at least that was one rumor floating around… yeah, well … it’s what I heard.

This is soooo cool!

So, just 2 days before the eclipse I was talking to my little sister about how I wanted to experience things and stop seeing them through my camera lens … My point was I spend too much time ‘capturing’ the moment rather than ‘living’ the moment. So, what did I do? I wasted precious time trying to ‘get a shot’ of what my eyes were seeing (which didn’t work) and I wasted time that I could have seen the stars that came out, I could have, I could have … but I didn’t. But I will when I see the next total eclipse August 12, 2045 which goes dead-center over Utah, and after all I’ll only be 91 … guess that’s something to put on my I need to see and experience again list.

What else do you do at Grandpa’s ranch but ride the 4-wheeler

Just so you know that I did invite everyone I know and talked to in Boise and surrounding areas to come up and see the Total Eclipse … and what did I hear? “It’ll be 99.5% total here, why should I drive 2 hours north and get stuck in traffic”? What’s the difference? What’s the difference? It’s like running 26.195 miles of a marathon and stopping because 99.5% is good enough”. It’s like Neil Armstrong peeking out the window of the lunar module and saying, “this is close enough”.

In the Zone of Totality
Photograph Credit: Wyatt Taylor (yes, he’s my gson) Follow his Instagram @ High_Peaks_Adv and webpage

We were Here! We experienced the light dim to colors I’ve yet to have words to describe, to feel the temperature drop 15+ degrees and the night winds start blowing, to keep tipping solar viewing glasses up and down to see the light change, to look at the corona, to see the colors change again.  Then to watch that brilliant blast of solar light as the sun exploded into the beyond just as the moon slipped infinitesimally past  totality … it was a diamond ring.

But I missed stars! and I WANTED to see the stars. What a hard lesson that was … again.  My lesson? Be Here Now!

What an AWESOME display of the perfection of the universe and of God’s love to put the planets in such perfect alignment that on August 21, 2017 we were in the Zone of Totality … we saw & felt a Total Solar Eclipse!

The fam & friends had packed and were on the road before the end of the light show .. attempting to make it to the interstate before the throngs plugged the 2  lane running past our house.  It was a good plan, but an hour south they became part of the miles of traffic stoppage with other like-minded folks.

The total eclipse was worth it, and to add to our excitement Saturday night we had a 3 hour find Max the Schnauzer (dog with a heart condition) scavenger hunt. After many tears and recriminations he was found under a bush 100 yards from the house after a search of 90+ acres, and several miles of the rails to trails.

Idaho Eclipse Weekend Artifact; found in clothes dryer. Finder quoted saying, “I thought I said NO”.

Not to be outdone, Sunday was the evening of the RATTLESNAKE ! My theory is the old school gangsta rap they were listening to called the snake across 30 feet of burnt dirt and rocks, to hunker under the trailer & coil up next to the boombox between two girls.  Later the daughter discovered that No to a 10 year old son isn’t no to his grandpa.

Isn’t Life Grand?

Where will you be for the next Total Eclipse? https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/future/

 

#nochristmasbeforethanksgiving #wanderingkeriwins

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My #nochristmasbeforethanksgiving was successful! 30 days of Thanksgiving and No Christmas BEFORE December 1st … that was the journey  I started 30 days ago.  Did you join in?

Dang,  but it was hard to avoid Christmas decorations and the advertisements especially when I had to shop for essentials.  I have become a pro at ignoring the gauntlet of elves, trees, glitter, and HoHoHo’s down each aisle, near each cash register and the insipid all Christmas music stations  playing over every AM/FM band that started in NOVEMBER.

I’m certain I’ll pay a bit more for the few gifts I’m giving this Christmas season, but it was soooo worth it.  Actually thinking about and focusing on my blessings, mentioning something new each day for which I am grateful and thankful for opened my heart to even more thankfulness.  It opened my heart to realize how many, many more blessings I have than I ever thought possible.

In these last hours of the last day of November looking back over my 30 days of thanksgiving and it’s true, for each day of thanksgiving I posted … I thought of 10 more that would mean just as much.  Some things were silly, others heartfelt, and some  at the time seemed quite ordinary … but now I realize, nothing is truly ordinary, is it?

Most of us ... missing ... Steve, Aarin & Bayla ... Pam & Jeff, Clayton, & Breena ... & Chris' wife Cindy

Most of us … missing … Steve, Aarin & Bayla … Pam & Jeff, Clayton, & Breena … & Chris’ wife Cindy

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Ali (holding Mala) , Greg, Peter, and Tessa

November 1: I am grateful for all the wonderful souls in my life. (I can’t put all y’all’s pics here … but you are stuck in my heart forever!)

 

I Pledge Alligence

I Pledge Alligence

Nov 5th: I am soooo thankful to be living in the United States of America! I am grateful to the inspired founding fathers design of a representative republic and the constitution and bill of rights. Don’t take them for granted.

 

Who needs water? Trevi Fountain ... Rome

Who needs water? Trevi Fountain … Rome

Nov 6th: I am so grateful for my sweet husband … he’s a great traveling companion and my best friend!

 

743d8790e9248eb211ac7d6f9ce079d012th: I am so very Thank-Full and Grateful for 20 years of sobriety. Thanks be to God! Even after all these many years, it is still One Day at a Time.

 

6fa1b3ee50b284cc6dbc0b9a13d47e6fDay 13: I’m grateful today that I’ve learned not to take myself so seriously. Life is tooooo short for that!

 

Dad & Mom at the Cabin

Dad & Mom at the Cabin

18th Day: I am in awe and gratitude for the parents I was blessed with. They gave me all they had to give and more … miss you every day dad and I am grateful for a mom who continues to love and cheer me on.

Day 30: I am so grateful for eyes that can see beauty, a heart that loves and can feel love, ears that can hear giggles, the symphony of nature, and kisses. 🙂

I am eternally grateful for my testimony and love for Jesus Christ, my Savior. I am so thankful for the peace that came with repentance and turning my heart to Him. I know that He lives and that He knows me, and knows my name as he knows you.

Thank you for joining me on my 30 days of Thanksgiving journey. I am grateful and love you all! …  Life is Good and We are Blessed!

 

 

Bilbo Baggins is my Hero

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You gotta have a motto!

You gotta have a motto!

If you’ve kept up with my last few posts you’ll notice a theme … I’m feeling a bit, what’s the word? Retired? Yep. Retired. Accepting that word as opposed to the phrase ‘Not Working Anymore’ has been much to hard to accept.  Creeped me out actually.  When I quit working I left a career that I absolutely loved working for the U.S. Forest Service. Twenty-one years of absolute joy, excitement, and adventure. The last 5 years were pretty close to hell on earth.   I didn’t just quit working I escaped and that made the transition to ‘not working anymore’ a relief. It was a thank goodness I’m alive relief … more than that, thank goodness I didn’t toss anyone down the stairs relief.  But now it’s time to put those last 5 years into a box, tape it up and toss it into the incinerator. I just have to let it go and remember the 21 years I loved working and making a difference … maybe that is what I am sensing is missing … making a difference?

It’s starting … the 12 week book adventure I’m going on … Julia Cameron’s  It’s Never to Late to Begin Again:Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond.  I’ve started reading. Today I am starting with morning pages, a walk, and a mental walk-about … to seek and find something more, something new, something old or find just me..

I admit I’m feeling a bit like Bilbo Baggins leaving Bag End the second time … knowing the time is ripe for change and new adventures.

The Road goes ever on and on 

Down from the door where it began. 

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say!*

*Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Book 1, Fellowship of the Ring

Loving it All

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IMG_2305Welcome Monday! … my To-Do list has additions, the fruit trees blooming in the yard smell delicious, the sun is shining, the lawn mower is calling as is the mini roto-tiller and there are about 10 hours today to ‘git ‘er done’. Garden beds are calling and birds are singing and I’m sitting on the couch writing. Much is on my mind and in my heart.

Do you wonder sometimes why there are ups and downs in life? What tips the scales from good to bad in a minute or how we get on the slow slide into the blahs? Yep, life is just like that … it’s meant to test and try us. Yep, life is meant to help us become our best today, tomorrow, and always.  Yep, life is just like that … there is bad that goodness shines brighter in our hearts, sadness so we may know joy, tears so that laughter has meaning, and  …

Many of my life choices have brought me tears and heartache, the choices of others brought devastation that I had no control over … coming out on the other side of such pain, fear, and despair I gained much and can see the good in the horribly bad … I gained strength, courage, forgiveness, hope, optimism, joy, and most importantly love. I learned I can do hard things, but do not have to become hardened. I can forgive as I have been forgiven. I can see the sun shining behind the storm and know that it is always there and I need not fear the darkness.

I’ve learned that nothing can sustain true intensity forever … just as a tornado dissipates, an earthquake shakes only so long, a flood eventually recedes, calm does return. Though often it takes quite a while to clear the debris left behind and after the healing has started … I have learned that after the mess is cleared, the view is infinitely more beautiful … especially if I don’t go searching for the junk the tornado, earthquake, or flood washed away and carry it back into the yard.

Today the sun is shining bright in my life, challenges still come and I expect they will forever.  I have learned the most important thing … that I have never been alone. In the darkest of my nights, the deepest pits of my pain, in the face of my stupidity and fear I was always protected, guided, and loved by Christ my Savior who carried me when I didn’t know him, when I rejected him, when I was wandering in the wilderness. He saved me from myself, he rescued me and gave me life, joy, happiness, faith and hope.

IMG_2303He is the light in darkness. He is who He said he is: The living Son, of the living God.  He knows me, He knows my name, He died for me, He lives for me … and you.  Always.

 

Killer Cool Urban Shopping Bag …

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I Made These … Killer Cool Urban Shopping Bags

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And .. I Made This Giant Supersize Urban Shopping Bag

Ah … fresh powder morning and I’m … sitting on the couch.  Last fall I “knocked myself silly” by falling onto my head in my own driveway … after 4 months of ‘the dizzies’ I finally went to a specialist who yesterday rotated my head using a technique called the Eiger Maneuver until those pesky balance crystals fell back into place.  The doctor’s parting words … no fast moves or head turns for at least 2 days.  I whined, “but the snow” … he laughed not for a couple of days. Yep, Color me bummed out today.

So I thought I’d share my new crochet project … I call it the Farmer’s Market bag or really the Killer Cool Urban Shopping Bag.  The first one I made was a copy of a Pinterest pattern … then I just went crazy and changed up the stitches and well … I’ve made 5 of them. A couple I gave away for Christmas gifts and since I ALWAYS forget my use again shopping bags I’m hoping that since these are so urban chic I’ll remember them … just to show them off.