Tag Archives: #iamblessed

Gratitude: the Answer to Every Question

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Gratitude: Counting my Blessings

Today’s the day … the final gratitude challenge question day. However, this is not the answer to just one question … Gratitude is the answer to every question. In times of stress and darkness being grateful for the smallest things turns on the light. Focusing on the light rather than the darkness lifted my spirit and gave me hope.  In times of happiness and joy gratitude multiplied my joy with contentment and peace. In my times of uncertainty giving thanks for the solid things I do know increased my faith and patience.

Taking this 30 day gratitude challenge has again opened my mind and heart and soul to the abundance in and around me. The opportunity to ponder the huge things and the small gratitudes day by day has given me such a lightness of heart and I’ve been happier, even when the crazies happen. I fear less and hope more. My eyes looked up from the paths of my feet; looked up at the light, and left the darkness behind (even if just for a short time).

My thought for the day is this: I will wrap gratitude around every thought,  in every blessing and through every trial and every pain, and I will see the abundance of blessings overflow in my heart and in my life.   I found gratitude in all times & places.  I encourage you to seek out the gratitude in your life.  And like one of my favorite hymns “Count your many blessings name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done”.

Confessions of a Girl from Utah

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I thought nothing, no matter how hard it tried could come close to the magnificent Wasatch Mountains jutting out of the high valley desert views from my window, nothing could capture my heart like red rock canyons or steal my breath like a grand slalom through the perfect down of an Alta power day. I thought nothing could enthrall my soul more completely than wandering through deserts, across streams, over prehistoric lakes and petrified forests. I was the quintessential Utah girl … my roots are there, my heart is there.

IMG_3621When I had to move north for a new job, move away from my beloved lake and mountains, I was bereft of spirit. It was a new adventure and I’m all for new adventures, but I was leaving my life. Leaving my world. I moved from foothills with majestic views  of Utah Lake and the towering purple mountain majesties into suburbia. My view is my neighbor’s rooftop. The mountains are only a dream and miles away. And … I resisted. I compared. I whined. I looked back and I pined.

I have a confession to make. It took me three years to find a hair dresser in Idaho, I would drive back ‘home’ to ‘my’ hair dresser in Utah. It took me 7 years before I would alpine ski in Idaho, seriously. It has taken more than 12 years and today I think I can admit, yes, it’s taken a while, but Idaho has grown on me. I’m still in suburbia, but escape to Sweetie’s home on the range only 20 minutes from the mountains. I still yearn each winter for the soft, downy powder of my first love, Alta, but there are good powder days at Brundage too. I miss the red rocks and always, always my family, but I have Sweetie up here and friends … Idaho has grown into a piece of my heart.

Jill, first morning on a river

Jill, first morning on a river

Last week instead of heading south for our annual camping, hiking, or fishing trip my friend Jill and I went north into Idaho’s panhandle. North through valleys so narrow I felt I could touch the mountains on either side of the road. I loved the tiny towns and villages tucked into the only flat spots along rivers and the farms and barns scattered like bird seed through the wheat fields surrounding the Camas Prairie, Nez Perce. I lost count of the number and names of the rivers and creeks we passed or stopped to wade through, tossing one of many, many different flies in search of the elusive native cut throat trout.

A long road there

A long road there

You’ll love this … and it’s not a fish story either … after setting up camp and relaxing after the 6 hour drive from Council, a fellow camper dropped over and offered us firewood. He and his grandson brought it over, helped to stack it and even cut some into kindling for us (maybe they felt sorry for us old ladies). The fire put a smile on our hearts. The next morning, I pulled my lovely little Sage fly rod from its case and the handle fell off, it just dropped into the dirt when I started to put on the reel. Well, I didn’t have any glue and I didn’t think white cloth bandage tape would help much.  I remembered the fellow who gave us wood said he tied flies to match the hatch.  I took my poor little rod over to their camp and of course he had some super glue. Sadly, the handle just wouldn’t stick.  As I thanked him and was heading back to use my secondary rod, my dad’s (but it’s short for these rivers),  he offered to let me borrow one of his rods for the week. I took him up on it and had great days fishing.

Earth Fairy

Earth Fairy

Caddis

Caddis

So how do you thank someone who lends their fly rod to a stranger and shares firewood too? Words just seemed too small. I thought of the small fairy I was working on and figured I could make two …  so I finished the small fairy and made a little fly fishing dude wire sculptures for his grandchildren.  I think they liked them.  On another note, when I checked my fly rod  I  found that the super glue finally cured and the handle was securely in place.

Idaho people are the best. There, I said it … Idaho is more than potatoes and long drives from here to there.

Utah, I hope you understand, my loving Idaho doesn’t change my love for  you.  I’m a UTE, through and through!

Dare You to Keep Your Eyes Open!

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When company comes callin’ up here in Council, Idaho we like to take them places that’ll scare the pants off of ’em.  If not truly scary, then at least give them a view they won’t find anywhere in Pennsylvania … the home of our latest visitors (Cousin Tom & his girlfriend Kelly).  We picked a 130+ mile round-trip drive through Idaho mining & Forest Service history. Sweetie was the Assistant Fire Management Officer (AFMO) for the Council Ranger District on the Payette National Forest for six years (before he met me 🙂  ); he knows cool stuff about the roads, mountains, people, and history of the area … he is a great tour guide.

It's a small town fer shur

It’s a small town fer shur

For starters we drove through the towns of Bear  and Cuprum (latin for copper) … snugged into the forest; small places remaining from the mining heyday in the 1890’s. Once boasting thousands … now, uh, less than 10? … few homes and fewer people.  We didn’t see many smiling faces as we drove past … more like what the H are you looking at kinda faces.

Horse Mountain Fire Lookout ... Payette National Forest

Horse Mountain Fire Lookout … Payette National Forest

Anyway, past these little spots we slowly wound our way up to the Horse Mountain Fire Lookout Tower from which you can see the Seven Devils mountain range and below (about a mile) you can see the thread of the Snake River in the bottom of Hell’s Canyon.Nothing this high in PA Horse Mountain Lookout Viewpoint over Snake River in Hells Canyon

Some folks think the road to the lookout is ‘scary’ … well, strap on your seat belt and grab your camera … the slow going, gravel road named  Kleinschmidt ‘s Grade will send chills down your spine, at places you’ll want to close your eyes, and if you are brave enough to look you’ll get a mountain goat’s eye view of the world.  The road was built as a way to move ore to the river; a way Mr. Kleinschmidt hoped would be faster than hauling the ore by wagon and mule team. It is a spectacular drive even if the road didn’t help Mr. Kleinschmidt’s financial ventures.

Kleinschmidt's Grade Photo Op

Kleinschmidt’s Grade Photo Op

Finally at the bottom of the grade and half-way home, we headed south toward the Oxbow and on to Cambridge. We pulled off in one of the well maintained and shady boat launch sites to give the Mala dog a swim and unfold our legs before starting back to the ranch.

The rest of the trip was uneventful and ties into several day trips I’ve shared with y’all before … in my Idaho Winter Wandering — No Snow and A Saturday Explore where we ended up in Cambridge and picked over the pawn shop and the art gallery. I love road trips; old trips, new trips … I saw 3 more trailheads on our journey that intrigued me and that I put on my I want to do that sometime list. Trip Stats? 1 dog, 1 4×4, 4 people, 6 hours, 130 miles …. unlimited smiles.

The trip doesn't look treacherous, does it?

The trip doesn’t look treacherous, does it? Can you tell the steep parts?

Elevation ... not much change was there? LOL

Same route, elevation only … Nah, not much of a drop at all!