Family Friday--Pre Miser Warmup

This will give you a little idea of what our family's pre-play warm up is in the car as we drive up to Wallace to perform the play.

Performers always need a good song to create the energy needed for a great performance.

This one does it for us!!!


Thinking Back Thursday--1981 Idaho State A2 Boys Basketball

Listening to the Kellogg Wildcats boys basketball game at the state tournament on KWAL this afternoon, plus listening to songs from the "Queen's Greatest Hits" CD on the way to the theater this evening transported me back in time to the year 1981, my senior year, when the Kellogg Wildcats made it to the state championship game.

Our theme song that year should have been "We Are The Champions".

Instead, the opposing team's pep band played, "Another One Bites the Dust".

But it was a fun ride with this team. I started watching most of these guys our freshman year, when they played at Kellogg Junior High School. I played in the pep band, and so I was always at the games. If our freshman team wasn't undefeated that year, I know we were pretty close.

I think by our freshman year, Shawn Lannen and Don Teller were both at least 6 feet tall, which was a great help. Danny Marek was a great shooter, too. He was the last of a string of Marek boys that were great basketball players at KHS.

And, as these guys progressed through high school, the teams made it to state every year. This run has started when PKR was a senior, and his team made it to state in 1978. I remember what a big deal this was. I was a freshman that year at KJHS, and they piped the game over the loud speakers in the school, and we listened to the game during class, because it was such a big deal.

The Wildcats would make it to state the next three years while I was at KHS. State tourament trips were always fun. I think my sophomore year we were in Boise, then my junior year we were in Nampa. Our senior year, they decided to move the tournament up north, and, if I'm not mistaken, and we played in the Post Falls High School gym.

(If any of my information is incorrect, please feel free to correct this. I know Laurie and Lee would know some better details, if you read this post.)

The Wildcats made it through the tourament, and to the state championship game, the first time since the Wildcats were state champions in the 1960's I believe.

We were playing Madison High School.

It was down to the wire. With just seconds remaining, I believe the game was tied, and Madison shot the ball and won the game.

We were so close. It was heartbreaking.

I still remember how awful I thought it was for the other band to play "Another One Bites the Dust".

Winning second place was a great honor.

But our theme song should have been "We Are The Champions".


Wildcard Wednesday--Make Up Sibling Assignment

Inland Empire Girl gave us the following sibling assignment.

Robert Frost said,"Good fences make good neighbors." Think back to all the neighbors we had growing up in Kellogg. Choose a memorable event that involved neighbors and share your memories.”

Defining moments. A moment in life that is decisive and critically important. It is a moment that changes things for us. Life changes in a split second. This story is about one of those defining moments in my life.

At first reading, you would expect us all to have some warm, fuzzy stories about the wonderful neighbors we had growing up in our little hometown of Kellogg. You will find these stories at ING's blog here, and RP's blog here.

Unfortunately, this assignment made me think of a very memorable event that happened, but it wasn’t a pleasant memory. Some events that have happened in my life lately, as well as the prompt IEG gave us, has made me realize the following is the story I would be telling.

I guess it is my turn to have the dark side of this week’s sibling assignment, an honor which is usually reserved for Raymond Pert.

No warm and fuzzy neighbor story for me.

No, unfortunately, the memorable event I remember most about a neighbor happened when I was 11, and it was a defining moment in my life.

Growing up, we did have wonderful neighbors on either side of our house. But, as they grew older, their houses were put up for sale, and they moved on.

We had a variety of neighbors come and go on each side of our house. Before my sixth grade year in school, a family moved in to the house to the west of ours. They had four kids around my age, a boy going into ninth grade, two daughters going into seventh grade, and another daughter going into fifth grade. So I developed a friendship with them, and hung out with them occasionally.

One day I was playing over at their house with the youngest daughter. Her brother was home, but the rest of the family was gone.

As we were playing in the house, the brother came up with idea to hide in the closet in his bedroom and scare his mom, who was expected home soon. So the three of us got inside the closet. While in there, I was molested by the boy.

Yes, I was touched in those improper places that a bathing suit covers up.

When we got out of the closet, he brought out some pornographic magazines from under his bed to show me.

Then I remember going home.

I also remember being really mad.

I didn’t tell anyone. I dealt with it on my own. I knew it was wrong what was done to me. Even my body knew it was wrong. I remember I skipped my period that month.

Besides the violation that was done to me that evening, what bothers me now is the fact I didn’t tell anyone, or even knew that a crime had been committed against me. That knowledge was not there.

In fact, that didn’t really dawn on me until much later, as an adult, when I covered the courts for the newspaper. Then it finally dawned on me. I was a victim. He was a criminal.

I knew morally it was wrong. But it never occurred to me to tell an adult that a crime had been committed against me. I guess because I handled most of my problems on my own. I remember telling a friend at some point, but we just kind of laughed, and didn’t do much about it.

As an elementary student, you were warned of strange men in trench coats who could come after you and entice you with candy.

We knew not get in a car with a stranger.

But nobody warned us about the teenage boy next door. Nobody warned us that you are more likely to be molested by a family member or a friend of the family than a stranger.

As I look back on how this moment affected me, I think it actually gave me a strength I didn’t have before. I think the anger created a type of alertness and kept me on my guard.

I knew I never wanted to be a victim again.


Take A Picture Tuesday--The Miser

This past weekend, my sister Inland Empire Girl took pictures of the production our family has been involved in at the Sixth Street Theater. You can find more pictures and her review of the play here.
"The Miser" has consumed much of our time this past couple months.
We had a great opening weekend. What a priviledge it has been to be a part of this production with such a wonderful cast.

I am so proud of my husband for the wonderful job he did in directing this production, and playing the title role of Harpagon.

Here is PKR in the title role of Harpagon, along with me as Frosine, the Matchmaker.

We were fortunate to have Frank and Barb Peretti help design and decorate the set for the play. It is very beautiful.

The setting is the living room of Harpagon's house, set in Paris, France in 1668.

How fortunate we are to have our three daughters in the play with us. With The Princess heading off to college next fall, this may be the last time the five of us are in a play together, at least for a while. They are all doing really well in their roles.

The servants, portrayed by David Selman, Kiki Aru, Frank Peretti, Z2 and Cherri Bartle, show off the store of furniture Harpagon has as part of his loan to his son.

The Princess, as Elise, Harpagon's daughter, and Luke Crigger as Valere, his servant, find it hard to hide their true feelings for each other from Harpagon.

Below, Chance Hughes and Chelane Connel protray Cleante, Hargagon's son, and Marianne, whom Cleante loves, but his father Harpagon wants to marry.

Vern Hanson played two roles in this production. One was Master Simon, and the other was the Magistrate, pictured above with PKR.

Ken Bartle, center, is Monsieur Anselme, who, along with Valere and Marianne, share some surprising revelations.

We have 8 more performances to go, with four this week, and for the following week. Ticket sales have been good. Some performances are sold out already.

My friend VA was at the performance on Sunday afternoon, and paid us all a wonderful comment, telling us, "It was just magical. Magic took place on that stage."

As a performer, there are no sweeter words to hear.


Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me A Match

Sorry for the absence as of late, but when it gets down to a week before the opening of a play, my head is more with the play, and my character.

This week, my focus is on becoming Frosine, the Matchmaker in "The Miser".

One more dress rehearsal tomorrow night, then opening night on Friday.

Then I can get my head back into blogging once again.

Hey, if you want a great night of fun entertainment, make your reservations, and come and see "The Miser". See the post below for all the information you need to get tickets.


Wildcard Wednesday--Sixth Street Theater's "The Miser"

The Sixth Street Theater in Wallace is preparing for the opening of "The Miser", a romantic farce by Moliere. Pictured are cast members Molly Roberts, Luke Crigger,Paul Roberts, Chance Hughes and Chelane Connell.
The play opens Friday, February 22nd with a Opening Gala at 6 p.m. followed by the play at 7 p.m.
WALLACE—A miserly father plots to marry his daughter to a rich old man, but the daughter wants the man she has brought into the house disguised as a servant.
The father also wants to marry, but he wants the same girls his son loves.
This is just the beginning of the twists and turns experienced in “The Miser”, the Sixth Street Theater’s upcoming production.
The play opens Friday, February 22 at 7 p.m., with theater goers invited to a special Opening Night French Soiree at 6 p.m. complete with refreshments.
Other evening performances will be on Feb. 23, 28, 29, March 1, 7, and 8, with matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Feb. 24, March 2, 8 and 9.
The play features Paul Roberts in the lead as Harpagon. Roberts is also directing this production.
Performing in the role of Harpagon’s daughter Elise is Molly Roberts, and the role of Cleante, Harpagon’s son, will be performed by Chance Hughes. Luke Crigger and Chelane Connell play Valere and Mariane, the love interests of these two siblings, and are both new to the Sixth Street stage.
David Selman, another newcomer to Sixth Street, is Master Jacques, one of Harpagon’s servants. His other servants are Cherri Bartle as Mistress Claude, Zoe Roberts as Brindavoine, and Cosette Roberts as La Merluche.
Trying to help all these love interests work out is Frosine, the matchmaker, portrayed by Carol Roberts. LaFleche, the valet of Cleante, is played by Frank Peretti, who makes his debut performance on the Sixth Street stage as well.
Rounding out the cast are Sixth Street veterans Ken Bartle, as Monsieur Anselme, and Vern Hanson, as Master Simon and the Magistrate.
“I played this role in a production in Montana about 20 years ago,” said Roberts, the play’s director. “I have always enjoyed this character and the farcical comedy of this play, and decided to bring this production to the Sixth Street stage.
“Farce is similar to melodrama, in that the humor can be exaggerated and way over the top. But it is different, in that there is not the audience interaction with the booing and hissing.”
Roberts has also taken an anachronistic turn in parts of this production, using some popular Beatles music in this 1660’s Paris, France setting.
“This is the perfect opportunity to shake off some of the winter doldrums, and come for a great evening of theatrical comedy,” said Roberts.
For reservations call 752-8871, or 1-877-SIXTHST. Tickets are $12 for adults, and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets must be paid in advance or held with a credit card.
The Sixth Street Theater is located at 212 Sixth Street, in Wallace. For more information, visit the website at www.sixthstreetmelodrama.com.

Winter Walk--Is it Christmas or Valentine's Day?

When we were coming home from play practice last night, The Princess wanted to know why there were still Christmas decorations up around town.
I told her I thought the city crew had a few more important things on their plate than taking down Christmas decorations....like plowing and moving snow.
The reindeer are still dancing by Teeters Field.
The decorations still glow on the light poles throughout town.

Who knows, we could still have Christmas decorations up for Easter!!

Wait, at this rate, they might have them down by Memorial Day!!


Take a Picture Tuesday--Dad at the Sunshine Inn

My Dad as a bartender at the Sunshine Inn in Kellogg.

As I reported below on my Winter Walk, the Sunshine Inn is reopening soon.

The Sunshine Inn holds many memories for our family as we grew up here in Kellogg.

One reason was Dad was employed as a bartender at the Sunshine Inn.

My memories are of going out to dinner at the Sunshine Inn, and eating in the Jackass Room, where a large picture of Noah Kellogg and his jackass hung on the wall.

One favorite treat of mine was a drink called a Shirley Temple. You would get it served in a tall glass, with a marachino cherry sticking out on top.

The drink is made up of 7-Up and grenandine syrup. At least that is the version I remember.

I always enjoyed dining at the Sunshine Inn. The owners names were Sig and Bunnie Peterson, and I think they were always good to my dad.

So, now, once it is opening again, maybe I can take my girls to the Sunshine Inn and they can have Shirley Temples with a meal while dining in the Jackass Room.

I wonder if Noah and his companion still hang on the wall?

Winter Walk--The Sunshine Inn R Opening

I hope after the whole Stein's announcement threw my siblings for a loop, this announcement will make up for it. Because, as you can see on the sign, The Sunshine Inn Bar and Cafe "R Opening".
Each morning we walk by, we see a flurry of activity of a crew of workers cleaning and getting the place set to open up. I don't think this establishment has been opened since we moved back here in 2000. The Sunshine Inn also has a motel attached, and I'm not sure if it is opening as well, or not.
So, siblings, maybe on your next visit home, we can go down and have a meal at the Sunshine Inn and Cafe.


Media Monday--Regina Spektor

The Princess bought Regina Spektor's "Begin to Hope" CD a few months ago, and I became hooked on her unique sound. This song, Samson, is one of my favorites on the this album. I love the phrase, "You are my sweetest downfall". It makes me think of those things in life that are very tempting, but I should stay away from. And those sweet temptations I have given into throughout my life.

You are my sweetest downfall...I loved you first

I thought about Regina's music because, according to my brother Raymond Pert's blog, he seems to be a fan as well.

Winter Walk--The Road That Leads Me to My Door

Here is what the road in front of my house looked like this morning as I left NR at her home, and headed for my own door. I love the snow. But I don't like it when it gets to this phase, all slushy, and dirty with big puddles all around. Driving down our rode is like being on the "Indiana Jones Adventure" ride at Disneyland. The ride was fun at Disneyland. It gets a little old each day driving to work in these conditions, and my drive to work is only about three minutes.

Well, I can take consolation in the fact I don't have a giant snowball hurtling toward me that I have to dodge as I make my way to work each morning. Now, if that was the case, my morning commute would be quite an adventure.


Sacred Sunday--That's Entertainment

Sunday afternoon and evening was spent writing the entertainment for the Sweetheart Dinner at our church this Friday.

PKR and I are the entertainment, and are "lounge singers" at St. Paul's Corinthian's Lounge. Our names are Vinnie and Veronica Valentine. We are basing our act on the Biblical verses from I Corinthians 13 that define love.

The premise is God used popular singers in the 50's, 60's and 70's to show the people on earth what love truly means based on the verses in the chapter.

Here is one of the songs we'll be singing during Friday's entertainment.

We'll just be spreading the love all over the place Friday night.


Sibling Saturday--Gimme Five!!

This is my class picture from kindergarten. We met in the basement of the old Kellogg Junior High School building up on Main Street in Kellogg. We were the morning session, and we attended during the 1968-69 school year.

I posed this week's sibling assignment to Raymond Pert and Inland Empire Girl. RP's will be here, and IEG's is here. All this snow around here reminds me of the last time I lived here and there was this much snow in Kellogg, and that was when I was five-years-old. Think back to when you were five, and share some memories from when you were five-years-old.

When I went to kindergarten, it was as if the world opened up to me for the first time. I think of this partly because of all the little snippets of memories I can recall from that year in kindergarten. Go here to read about some of those memories.

Before going to kindergarten, my days were mostly spent at home with Mrs. Price, who would come in and take care of me during the day. Then LC, a neighbor who lived two doors down, took care of me when I was four years old. Her brother was married to Mrs. Price's daughter.

When I turned five, I then spent the days at the Curry house. TC was in kindergarten with me, and my little five-year-old life encountered more experiences than I had had in the four years previous.

All of a sudden I was in a classroom each morning with a group of 21 other students who I really didn't know that well, but would get to know much better that year.

It was a year of social interaction, and learning how to cope in those situations.

TC wasn't all that thrilled at having me stay at their home while her mom babysat me. So I had to learn to deal with her little five-year-old hostilities, including one of the major crimes in a five-year-olds life...stealing my Barbie Doll clothes.

TC and I also took dance lessons that year with Betty Damiano here in uptown Kellogg. We took ballet and tap dance. I still remember learning a dance, and the words and music to "Here Comes Suzy Snowflake". (It is kind of cool that The Princess now takes dance and voice lessons from Miss Betty's daughter.)

At the end of the year, the theme of the dance recital was "Noah's Ark". Our class had cute little red costumes, and were "Lovebugs" for one dance, and "Fireflies" for the other dance. When were were "Lovebugs", we sang the following song. I remember it after all these years, and can also sing it with some of the motions we did in the recital.
"Give me a little kiss, will you huh?
What are you gonna miss, will you huh?
Gosh, oh gee, why do you refuse?
I can't see, what you gotta lose?
So.....give me a little kiss, will you huh?
And I'll give it right back to you
(blow kiss)."
The grand finale was singing "Consider Yourself" from the musical "Oliver". I can still sing all the words to that song as well.
Despite our rocky beginnings, TC and I have remained friends for over 40 years now.
It is also fun to look at that picture, and realize, of the 22 kids in this picture, 15 of us graduated from Kellogg High School together. Two were held back, and graduated the following year. The other five moved away at different times during our growing up years in Kellogg, but most were with me at Sunnyside Elementary at least a few years.
I can name everyone in this picture, and have a little idea of what has happened to most of the kids I graduated with in this picture.
Front Row: TC is a social worker in Coeur d’Alene. I’m next. BE is a hair stylist in Hayden. BG’s husband is in the military, and they are stationed somewhere in the Midwest or south I believe. Her parents still live in Wardner. Not sure where PM lives. SV lives up Burke I believe. The next girl's name is Paula, but I can't remember her last name, and know nothing of her whereabouts. KW lived in Florida the last I heard. ME lives in Hayden and is fighting a courageous battle with MS. CH passed away a few years ago.

Back Row: I lost touch with CG, and am not sure where she is. LK’s parents still live in town, but I’m not sure where he is located. TF also has relatives in town, but not sure where he is living. MC is a mining executive for Hecla Mining Company. SR lives in Washington state I believe, and his parents still live here. BH owns his own auto body shop here in Kellogg. DT lives in the Tri Cities, and is a salesman. RL, and his sister LL, who is the last girl in the row, were twins, and they left while we were in grade school. I think they moved to the Spokane area. TG lives here in Kellogg and films the yards that are being remediated and is a local city councilman. MR lives in Oregon and works in the computer industry I believe. EB lives in Spokane and also works in computers.

When you are five, and you are in class with a group of people, you have no idea that some of these kids will have an impact on how you see yourself, and will have influence on the person you are to become.

Thanks for all your input over the years, guys. Good or bad, you helped make me who I am today.


Winter Walk--Shoshone Medical Center

In January 2005, the Silver Valley was fortunate to open the doors to a new medical facility.

The history of medical care in the valley is an interesting one.
After mining became one of the largest economic influences in the valley in the late 1800's, the mining companies and unions realized hospital care was needed for the miners.

Wallace's first hospital -- Holland Memorial Hospital, was opened in 1890. It later became the Wallace Hospital at the west end of Cedar Street.

In 1891, the Miners' Union Hospital was established on the 800 block on Bank Street in Wallace. It later merged into the Providence Hospital (later in the year of 1891.)

Just for a little trivia, Sweater Girl Lana Turner, one of the Hollywood glamour girls, was born in Providence Hospital. Here is a picture of her living in Wallace at age five.

The Wallace Hosptial ceased operation in 1965. Two years later, 1967, the Providence Hospital closed its doors, and East Shoshone Hospital was opened in Silverton.

I think the Wardner Hospital was opened in about 1918. I didn't realize until I returned to the Silver Valley about 8 years ago that the Wardner Hospital was located, not in Wardner, but in Kellogg. It had been torn down by the time I was born, so I never really paid that much attention where it was located. Then I realized it was located across the street from where the current Mountain Health Clinic is on McKinley Ave. I believe my dad, my brother, my mother-in-law and PKR's oldest brother were all born in the Wardner Hospital.

So then West Shoshone Hospital was built somewhere in the 1950's, because my sister was born there, as was I.

But East Shoshone and West Shoshone Hospitals are no longer in operation. The East Shoshone Hospital building is now used for book publishing, the last I knew. The West Shoshone Hospital building was torn down so the new Shoshone Medical Center building could be constructed.

It was rather sad watching the hospital demolished a few years ago.

But the new facility is really quite nice, and offers quality medical services.

Which, if any of these hospitals, were you born?

Family Friday--Can Someone Call A Doctor Please?

We've all been a bit under the weather at our house this week. Colds, runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, stomache ache.

I think the change in weather and barometric temperature does wierd things to our systems and can really bring on a case of the blahs.

So, if you have a few moments, send up some prayers for us so we will all feel better soon.



Thinkin' Back Thursday--Invasion of the White Man

My daughter Z2 and her friends are researching informatin for a documentary they are creating for their National History Day project this year.

The National History Day theme this year is Conflict and Compromise.

Their subject matter is showing how the invasion of the "white man" changed the culture of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe.

It was fascinating talking with them today about their subject, and helping them realize that one of the things they want to show in this documentary is the fact that this group of people lived in this area, including the Silver Valley, for thousands of years. But it only took less than 100 years for another group of people to come and invade their land, take away a majority of their land, and almost completely wipe out their culture, a way of life and they had known for hundreds of years.

It has been interesting learning how the Coeur d'Alene Tribe dealt with this conflict. Their compromise was to send a group of their tribal members to Walla Walla, Washington to ask the Sisters of Providence to send some nuns to start a school for their girls, because the priests were already teaching their boys.

They were smart enought to realize that the white man and his ways were here to stay, and they needed to compromise their traditions and language by bringing in teachers to show their children the ways of the white man. So the children were taught English, and domestic chores, and the Catholic religion, among other subjects.

But one of the unique things about the Coeur d'Alene Tribe was they made this choice for their people. Their school was ran by the Catholic Church. It was not a government boarding school like many were around the country.
Desmet, Idaho in the early 1900's, the site of the boarding school where Coeur d'Alene Tribal members sent their children to attend school.

And it was something the tribe initiated themselves. The boarding school was located in DeSmet, Idaho. The girls have gathered much research, and are working on their script for the documentary, which will be presented in competition at Kellogg Middle School on March 15.

Once the documentary is finished, I will post it for all to enjoy.

National History Day is a wonderful program, and the students involved learn critical thinking skills, research techniques, besides learning about a historical topic.

Winter Walk--Looking back at Kellogg Junior High School

Looking back at Kellogg Middle School from the bridge crossing the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River.

This is the back of the building where I work, Kellogg Middle School. The large window is at the end of the ramp that heads to the library.

This morning I looked back on this building and took this picture. Then, in my mind, I also looked back to the time I was a student in this building.

I attended this school when it was called Kellogg Junior High School. I went to grades 7, 8 and 9 in this building, in the mid to late 70's. I was the only sibling to attend junior high at this school, because it opened after Inland Empire Girl was already in high school.

I had good times, and not so good times in this building as a student.

I learned I loved to read, write and study poetry in this school.

I learned I sucked at Algebra. I never could figure out from Mrs. Abelman how to balance the equations.

It was during these years I learned to "put on a happy face" and act like everything when okay, even when I was miserable.

I learned to play the piccolo, and still remember playing the "special part" during "Stars and Stripes Forever".

I experienced having a fellow classmate get pregnant at the beginning of my 9th grade year, and have the baby at the end of the year. It was strange, but for me personally, it was an effective form of birth control, because I knew I didn't want to get pregnant until I was ready.

Drama class my freshman year exposed me to acting on the stage for the first time, and writing my first play.

Even though some of those times at Kellogg Junior High School were difficult, and made me feel fat, ugly, stupid and like a loser, they helped shape me into the person I am today.

And, overall, that isn't such a bad thing.


Winter Walk--A Little Kellogg History

For those of you who may want to learn a little about Kellogg's history, I took a picture of this sign on my morning walk.

Yes, if the truth be told, Kellogg was discovered by a jackass, and Kellogg is still inhabited by its descendants.

A proud hertitage if there ever was one.

Seriously though, I enjoy this mythical lore that surrounds the founding of this area. Here is how the story goes.

In 1885, Noah Kellogg was a prospector who was living in Murray, Idaho during the gold rush. He wasn't having much luck around Murray, so he bought a grubstake with the help of two businessmen, Mr. Cooper and Mr. Peck, and also purchased an obnoxious jackass, and headed south over the hills to the south fork of the Coeur d'Alene River.

He eventually headed up Milo Gulch, toward what is now known as Wardner, Idaho. Supposedly his jackass took off, and, one of the stories says that Noah found his jackass mezmerized by the outcropping of galena (lead ore) he saw on the side of the mountain.

This probably isn't exactly true, but it is said myth always has some part of truth in the telling.

Noah wasn't familiar with galena, so he took a sample back to Murray and showed it to his buddy Phil O' Roarke, who knew exactly what it was, and the value of this mineral.

They returned to the site, and old Noah double crossed the business partners, and put a new mining claim on the land.

But old Noah wasn't too smart. Because the first time he was up there, he wrote up a claim including the two businessmen, and later it was found on the ground.

So Cooper and Peck took old Noah to court in Murray, and they won, so Noah was ordered by the court to give these two guys part of the claim. So then they were all part owners in the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining Company.

In the meantime, Noah got a town named after him...Kellogg, Idaho.

That is how my hometown was named.

Wildcard Wednesday--Today I Am Dark Chocolate

You are Dark Chocolate

You live your life with intensity, always going full force.You push yourself (and others) to the limit... you want more than you can handle.An extreme person, you challenge and inspire the world!

Do you want to find out what kind of chocolate you are? Click here.

I'm not sure I would always be dark chocolate.

But this is the mood I am in today.

I feel empowered, forceful and ready to take on the world.

And dark chocolate is my favorite kind of chocolate...a piece of dark chocolate and a glass of [yellowtail] Shiraz.



Take a Picture Tuesday: Morning Walks

After 120 My Tree pictures, I am moving on to another photo project this year.

Every Monday through Friday morning my friend Nikki and I walk about 40 minutes around Kellogg. I am going to take my camera with us in the morning, and take different pictures along our route and watch how the town changes with the seasons.

I thought for those of you who haven't been to Kellogg in a while, you may be interested in what it looks like. And, if you have never been to Kellogg, you may enjoy getting to know my hometown a little better.

This morning I took quite a few pictures to get started. But I'll probably only end up sharing one a day from now on.

But, for those of you who like the tree pics, don't worry. I'm sure I'll find ways of slipping in more pictures of the tree throughout the year as it changes throughout the seasons as well.

So, here are some pics from this morning's walk.

Our local ski resort, Silver Mountain Gondola Village,
looks beautiful each morning as we walk by,
with all the lights, and the snow piled high.

Here the gondola cars wait silently in the early morning hours to begin to make their journey on the world's longest single stage people carrier in the world, at 3.1 miles.

These trees in front of the Kellogg School District Office are beautiful to look at each morning, especially when they are covered with snow, and the lights stream through them from behind.

Stein's in no longer an IGA store. It is now Stein's Family Foods. No longer can one say, "I'm going down to IGA to pick up some milk." IGA no longer has a warehouse in Spokane, so the decision to go with Family Foods was based on the closeness of their grocery warehouse.

"Jolt n' Bolt", a espresso drive thru, had an early morning customer today. They are located in the Stein's parking lot, and serve good drinks. In fact, I treated myself to a Mocha today. I hadn't had one in months!!

Thus begins my new photography journey. Hope you plan to come along!!

Media Monday: Sarah McLachlan - Possession

I've been listening to this hauntingly beautiful song on the Due South Soundtrack Volume I. The more I listen to her music, the more of a fan I am becoming.


Wow, it's been one year!!

My first tree picture on my first blog post, February 2, 2007.

On February 2, 2007 I started this blog. It has been one year.

Happy Anniversary to me.

It has been an interesting journey. I started this blog because of my brother Raymond Pert having a blog, and enjoying reading his posts.

My goal was to share stories about the Silver Valley, and the people who live here, and our family.

I think it turned into more a journal of our family and my thoughts. I would like to try and share more about the history of this area this year.

One of the nice things that happened over the year is meeting other people through their blogs, and making connections with people I probably would have never connected with otherwise. Many of these bloggers I have met through Huckleberries Online.

Another thing is the interaction I have with my siblings Raymond Pert and Inland Empire Girl. Besides our weekly sibling assignments that we share, I love learning about their lives and thoughts and memories as I read their posts. It has drawn us all closer together this year, and helped us learn more about one another.

I thank you all for making my life richer, and for your comments that give me encouragement to keep on writing and sharing.

Throughout the year, I took pictures of the tri color beech tree in my back yard. Well, that project has come to an end today.

Now have a new photo project. I will reveal that tomorrow.

I look forward to another year of blogging.

Thanks again, everyone!!

#120--My Tree--The Final Shot...Farewell

Farewell? a long farewell to all my greatness.
This is the state of man; today he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes, tomorrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him:
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls as I do.
- William Shakespeare


Sibling Saturday--Trying To Find My Place in this World

Raymond Pert assigned us our sibling assignment for the week. For this week's assignment, focus on one piece of music you listened to between the ages of twenty-five and thirty. If possible, post a video of this song, but not required. I guess you could make your own video if you wanted to.

With this piece of music, open the door to some aspect of yourself at this point in your life and what the song makes you think about in whatever way works for you.

Raymond Pert's is here, and Inland Empire Girl's post is here.

When Raymond Pert gave this assignment, he had no idea the memories it would stir up for me.

My years between 25 and 30 were filled with changes, heartache, and hard lessons.

If I had been writing this with pen and paper, and not on a laptop computer screen, you would see the splotches where the teardrops smudge the paper as I write these words.

Michael W. Smith’s song “Place in This World” defines where I was at during this time in my life. I was trying to find my place in the world. Trying to figure out who I was, and what was my purpose.

I went through many changes during this period in my life.

I went from working full time at a college, to working part time at a radio station.

My husband went from being a substitute high school teacher to an ordained minister and associate pastor at our church.

That means I became a Pastor’s wife as well.

I got pregnant. And with pregnancy came those dreaded hormones, that, for me, reeked a bit of havoc on my emotions that lasted for the next seven years, until my youngest turned two. It was time for a gray type of depression to rear its ugly head my way, it would seem.

The first time I knew something was up was when I was unable to sleep at night because I would lie in bed after PKR had gone to sleep, and sob worrying about our finances, and how we were going to pay the bills, and provide for this new baby.

After The Princess was born, she started having seizures, and I was overcome with worry and anxiety, not really knowing what this disorder was that had been passed on to my child through my father’s side of the family.

Then the decision was made for us to move from Glendive. It was time to take a leap of faith. We decided to move to Meridian, Idaho where PKR’s grandfather was pastor of a church. He said we could come and help with the youth group and get a small compensation from the church for helping.

So, it was toward the end of April and PKR’s parents and my mom traveled over to Glendive from Kellogg to help us move. PKR and his parents drove the UHaul to Meridian, and Mom and I drove our car with The Princess and our two cats Lynx and Jessie to Kellogg where I would spend a few weeks while PKR got settled, and find a job. His cousin put him on his crew building houses that summer. PKR then got hired by the Meridian School Distict to teach at Meridian Academy, the district’s alternative high school.

We moved in with Paul’s brother and his wife who were gracious enough to house us for a while. Looking for a rental was hard. Either they didn’t want cats, or babies. The tears returned. The doubts returned. Where is my place in this world? Why am I here, Lord?

Then a rental became available right by the church in Meridian, and we rented this two bedroom apartment for $50 more a month than we rented our huge three bedroom house in Glendive.

Life was not easy as a young mother in a new place in a small apartment. I slept a lot during the day. When the baby slept. It was hard, because I didn’t know how to be a mom. I had decided to be a stay at home mom, and I didn’t know how to do that, either. And I put tremendous pressure upon myself to do it right, but I feel like I screwed up at every turn.

I was tired. I didn’t want to clean the apartment. I was lonely. I had to learn how to get along with a new group of people, many of them I had known for years, but hadn’t ever been close to over a long period of time. I was discouraged. What was my place in this new world?

Over the years I have learned that I am a very creative person, and, unless I have a creative outlet, I can sink into despair. And those first few years in Meridian, I didn’t have a lot of creative outlets. I loved to sing in church, but my perception, (and this is totally my own perception), was that I wasn’t wanted or needed as a singer at the new church. This hurt, and left a large void in my creative soul that took years to heal.

I did some writing during this time, but not a lot. I went in spurts with creative projects, but I’m the type of person who needs people to say good job, and for a while there, I didn’t do anything for people to tell me good job. All I seemed to focus on was my failures. So the despair got worse.

Looking for a reason
Roaming through the night to find
My place in this world
My place in this world
Not a lot to lean on
I need your light to help me find
My place in this world
My place in this world

During this time of darkness and despair, I searched for God’s light to help me, and He was there, helping me through. I learned through these tough years to forgive, and extend grace to those who had hurt me.

But, there are still choices I made during those days that haunt me. And some of those choices still lay heavy on my heart to this day, and I still can’t forgive myself.

And that is one of my biggest struggles right now…my inability to forgive myself.

If there are millions
Down on their knees
Among the many
Can you still hear me
Hear me asking
Where do I belong
Is there a vision
That I can call my own...

I am down on my knees, still wondering sometimes if God hears me….wondering, when I have no doubt God forgives me, why can’t I forgive myself?

#119--My Tree--Possessed by Snow

long long
The snow has possessed the mountains.
- Unknown


Family Friday--Hibernating

We've pretty much holed up into our cave this past week, and haven't ventured out a whole lot.
We stayed home on Monday because of a Snow Day.
Tuesday and Wednesday we all went to school.
But more Snow Days on Thursday and Friday kept us home.
Friday PKR and I did venture to Wallace so I could get some bloodwork done, and he stayed at the theater building sets for The Miser.
We have both had a cold, so staying inside sounds good.
I watched some of the first season of "The Office" that we had got from Netflix. It had its funny moments, but the Michael Scott character portrayed by Steve Carrel drives me nuts. I think that is the point, but I think watching it weekly would work better for me. Watching episode after episode was a little much for me.
I've watched a couple of old classic movies I got from Netflix this last week as well..."All About Eve" and "A Streetcar Named Desire".
I loved "All About Eve", and Betty Davis was amazing. It was a well written script, and a wonderful back stage look at the theater.
The only part of "A Streetcar Named Desire" I had ever seen was the Marlon Brando character yelling "STELLA!!!". It was nice to finally see the whole movie. I thought Vivien Leigh did an outstanding performance as Blanche.
Well, it is time to crawl back in my cave and get some shuteye. See you in the spring!!

#118--My Tree--Early Morning Snow

There must be some nerve and heroism in our love, as of a winter morning.
- Henry David Thoreau