Images of Christmas 2010

In our final sibling assignment of 2010, IEG gave us this assignment:

In only images portray Christmas from your point of view.

RP's Christmas images are here, and IEG's images will be here soon.

Here are my images of Christmas 2010.


I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

The third sibling assignment from IEG this month is this one:

What movie most connects you to Christmas and why?

One of the movies that connects me to Christmas is "White Christmas".  I think this is because it was one of those movies we always tried to watch every year growing up, and it reminds me of family Christmas memories.  In fact, our family is going to sit down and watch it this afternoon once the girls return performing in their Christmas concert.

There is something magical about this movie, plus it is full of music, performing, show business and Irving Berlin music.  I love every aspect of this show.

I also love that they come together for the "old man" and put on a show for him, and all those men come back to help out on Christmas Eve.

I love singing along to the song "Sisters".

I love watching them rehearse all the numbers for the big variety show.

And I love how the snow starts falling at the end.

And other people must feel the same way, because this has certainly been a classic movie since it came out, and loved by many.

So, time to sing along with Bing, Danny, Rosemary and Vera-Ellen as soon we begin "White Christmas".

You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch!!

Our next Christmas-themed sibling assignment given to us by IEG is this:

What book or story most connects you to Christmas and why?  IEG's is here, and RP's is here.

I would have to say "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" is one of my favorite Christmas stories.  I like it because this nasty, lonely Grinch who lives up on the mountain with his dog Max is so mad because of all the Who's enjoying Christmas, and so he goes down to Whoville to steal Christmas.  But in the end he realizes that Christmas isn't all the packages, boxes and bags!!  It is the time spent with family and friends, and the spirit of love that is the true meaning of Christmas.

I love how the Grinch is transformed because of the love he feels from the Whos down in Whoville, the tall and the small.  I love how his heart grows 10 sizes.  I love how the Whos accept him despite how Grinchy he had been in the past.

I need to extend this same love and grace to those "grinches" in my life, and realize their shoes may be too small, and they just need a little love to make their heart grow in size.

Or maybe they just need to carve the roast beast.


Sunnyside Elementary Christmas Memories

Inland Empire Girl is trying to revive our sibling assignments this month.  For sibling assignment #137, she wants Raymond Pert and I to think of a Christmas memory tied to a school experience and why it has stayed with us.

I remember the Christmas tradition at Sunnyside Elementary.  Each year, the sixth graders would put on the Christmas program at school.

When I was in fifth grade, I remember Teresa Vergobbi, one of the sixth graders,  wearing a black dress and reciting the following poem during the Christmas program:

One Solitary Life

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself...
While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

If I remember correctly, the fifth grade band also performed at this program, and I got to direct the band while they played a few songs.

The following year, it was my sixth grade classes turn.  My memory of this program was playing the flute backstage during the reading of the story about "Greensleeves".  I remember Terry LeClaire played the role of Greensleeves, which, for this production, was a story about a shepherd, if I'm not mistaken.

I also remember helping out during the SIlver King Elementary Christmas program that same year.  My mom was a teacher at Silver King, and they put on a Christmas program every year.  This year, I got to sit with our music teacher, Mrs. Williams, and help turn her music.  It was a very important job, and one I took quite seriously.

I love school Christmas programs.  I am so glad my daughters are in choir and band, so I can attend their concerts during the Christmas season.  I love listening to Christmas music and watching the students perform.  Watching these performances always gets me in the Christmas spirit.

I think I remember these particular programs because I was a part of them, and had a part in each of the performances, whether it was directing the band as a fifth grader, playing the flute as a sixth grader, or turning the pages of music, I was a part of the performance, and I enjoyed that very much.


Let The Juicing Begin

Inland Empire Girl visited me this weekend, and brought me two grocery bags full of purple grapes so I can juice them and make jelly.

Yesterday at church, my friend DS said she would be more than happy to lend me her steamer/juicer to help with the process.

So here are the beautiful grapes.

Here they are getting cleaned off.

Into the steamer/juicer they go!!

Soon all the juice will be made into beautiful jars of grape jelly!!


Traveling Moon Pass from Wallace to Avery

Since PKR and I have been immersed in the 1910 fire commemoration in one way or another this summer, I have wanted to drive to Avery over Moon Pass.  This week I got my wish.

On Tuesday, we didn't have anything planned during the day, so I suggested to Paul we drive to Avery.  He was up to it, so off we went.

I was awestruck by the beauty of the drive, and also the surprises in store that I didn't know existed.  Here are some pictures of our trip.

The Post Office and Museum in Avery.
The Milwaukee Road train car in Avery.
Inside the train car.
Who knew you drove inside of train tunnels on the road from Wallace to Avery.
Here is another.
And another.
This one was a little longer.
You see the bottom of the start of the Hiawatha Bike Trail on your way.
The Beautiful North Fork of the St. Joe River.
Burned snags from the 1910  fire.
Snags along the water.
Look at the burned and charred inside of this snag.
The snags have a beauty of their own.
Beautiful water.
Another snag.
On top of the pass.  Breathtakingly beautiful.
One more shot from up on top.


Embracing August

This week I gave the sibling assignment, which, to put it simply, is What do you like, and what do you dislike about August.

Here you can read about IEG's last days of August.

Traditionally, August has never been my favorite month.  Either it is too hot, or the evenings and mornings are too cold, and it goes by too fast, because school begins, which in our house signals the end of summer.

But this year, I decided to embrace August, and consciously enjoy the eighth month this year, and be in the moment during each part of August.

As I toured my yard this week, I realized August brought with it much beauty and the beginning of harvest.  I'm going to take you on a tour of my lovely August yard and garden.

String beans growing up the teepee poles.  The beans grow overnight I swear.
Still picking pea pods.
Cilantro, lettuce and Sweet Million tomatoes.
Yellow and green zucchini.
Lots of green tomatoes.  I hope they get enough hot weather to ripen before it frosts.
Goliath grillers.
Goliath grillers and banana peppers.
Yummy carrots.
I got a blossom, but I fear no pumpkins this year.
I've enjoyed picking raspberries all summer.
Sweet peas climbing the rusty bed springs.
My absolute favorite perennial...Moonbeam Coreopsis.
My wagon wheel herb garden...that needs some grass removal!!
My house plants are thriving outside.....I wish I could keep them out all winter long!!
My favorite tree....the Tri-Color Beech Tree.
One of my new rose plants.
Another lovely rose.
I love this shade of pink.
Almost ready to bloom.

I keep
Despite the fact I have quite a few projects going this summer, I have to say it has been one of the most relaxing summers I have ever experienced since moving back to the Silver Valley.  Partly because most of the things PKR and I have been involved in take place in the late afternoon or evening.  So I have had my mornings to putter around the yard, and enjoy the beauty of the backyard.  It has been wonderful.  I wish I could have this schedule year round.

As August winds down, I am embracing the cooler evenings, and cooler mornings.  I am enjoying the harvest from my backyard garden.  I am enjoying the peaches my sister brought me from the orchard near her home.  I'm embracing the final days of vacation before I officially return to work on August 31st.  I'm enjoying the last week of all our 1910 Fire projects coming to an end, where I have dressed as Emma Pulaski and hosted the Trailing the 1910 Fire Trolley around the town of Wallace.  I also helped direct the show at the Sixth Street Melodrama this month, which PKR wrote about his grandpa's birth, called "Rustler's at the Ranch, or...How Swift Can the Taylor's Run?"  And PKR and I have also been presenting "Voices of the Big Burn" a historical presentation on the 1910 Fire where we share first hand accounts from the fire, newspaper stories, and photographs taken by the Forest Service after the fire.  We continue this presentation through the end of the month. 

Soon my schedule will change.  I will be back on the school schedule, and back at Kellogg High School working with ninth, tenth and eleventh graders in the Gear Up program.  School begins September 7th.

But until then, I will continue to enjoy and embrace the month of August, with the slower pace, and days filled with no obligations.


Coeur d'Alene Lake

Inland Empire Girl gave us the next sibling assignment:

Coeur d'Alene Lake

One of my first recollections and memories of this lake involved a speed boat and a flying saucer. Yes, interestingly enough I have this memory of being in a speed boat on the lake when I was about 3 or 4, and I was hanging over the edge of the boat in Beauty Bay, and there was a silver flying saucer in the air. Not sure if I actually did encounter a UFO, but I sure do have a memory about this incident.

I often like to try and imagine what the lake was like back when the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, or the Schitsu'Umsh freely roamed this land, and were the only inhabitants of the lake. I picture tribal members quietly canoeing across the lake, calling to the birds on a cool, misty morning as the fog settled on the lake, and then, all of a sudden, the sun bursts through. What a peaceful, quiet time on the lake that must have been.

I like the lake better when it was filled with rustic cabins. Some of the "cabins" on the lake now don't seem to fit. They are million dollar homes that don't quite fit in their wooded setting.

It is still a beautiful lake, despite the onslaught of tourism that has taken over parts of the lake, but you can still find the quiet, peaceful parts that don't have as much traffic, and perhaps, in these places, if you listen carefully, you will hear the Schitsu'Umsh voices of long ago.

The Fourth Commandment: Refreshment of God's Creation

Raymond Pert gave us this sibling assignment:

I woke up this morning with the words "Remember the Sabbath. Keep it Holy." (my paraphrase) repeating in my head.

Reflect however you'd like upon the idea of the sabbath and your practice of it.

We had recently been talking about this one afternoon at my Mom's house when RP was there, because he had taken a Sunday afternoon nap, and I told him, that was a good thing, because our pastor at church had just talked about the fourth commandment in the Bible.

These are some of the notes I took from that sermon that Pastor David Langer gave on July 18, 201o at Mountain View Congregational Church in Kellogg.

God built into His commandments a day of rest.

Working seven days a week breaks people's spirit. If they do work this hard, they can find ways to repair their spirit, such as drinking, drugs, illicit relationships, etc.

God realized people needed a day of rest.

If we over burden ourselves with work, we shouldn't pretend that we are doing this our of obedience to God.

God wants us not to overwork, but to refresh.

We must labor not for our own good, but for the labor of others.

Our fortunes and well being are not in our own hands, but they are in the hands of God.

We need rest!! God's purpose for the day of rest is to recreate us and refresh us.

God wants us to experience the blessings He has given us in life.

The Sabbath Day is a special gift of God to people.

God in His abundant grace wanted a time of joy and rest for all of creation.

Christ's love is meant to unite...God's Sabbath is meant to unite God's people in refreshment.

Concepts like a weekend or a five day work week came from the heart of God.

I know I feel much more rested if I get a nap on Sunday afternoon. Especially when things are really busy at work, and hectic and I'm working lots of hours, that day of rest is so important. I like being refreshed. I like slowing down the pace, and taking it easy.

I'm glad God steers us toward that time of refreshment.


Clearwater River Fears

It is interesting as I read over my siblings writings about the Clearwater River here and here, and read about the fears of the Clearwater River, mostly passed on by our mother.

Mom's fears must have been all absorbed by Raymond Pert and Inland Empire Girl before I came along, because I have no memory of Mom being so afraid of the river.

In fact, I never remember being at the river with my mom.

Many of my sibling's memories of the river were at Beaver Dam. This was before my time. This was before Dworshak Dam and the reservoir became a reality. And because of that reality, Beaver Dam was covered up.

My memories of the Clearwater River all happened at Zann's Beach.

And I only remember being at the river with my dad. And I remember being amazed Dad could swim across the river and back, because I had never seen him swim at home, even when we would visit friend's river places up the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River.

I did have a fear of the river one summer, though. It was the summer of 1975. I would have been 12-years-old. That summer I had gone to The Rena Theater, and watched a movie called "Jaws".

That summer when we went to Zann's Beach with my family, I refused to go out into the water very deep, because I was convinced a great white shark would come and attack me.


Thank goodness, 35 years later, my fears of sharks in the water are gone. I was able to go to Zann's beach with my own daughters and husband and niece, and enjoy the water, and remember the white sand on the beach that was hard to get off, the volcanic rocks on the beach, and the memories of times gone by.

Here are some pictures of our family at Zann's Beach a few weeks ago when our family attended the "Last Cousin Standing Hootenanny" family reunion in Orofino, Idaho.

Our niece and three daughters...the bathing beauties in the Clearwater River.
Peaches swimming in the Clearwater River.

PKR, my own muscle man on the beach.
More beauties on the beach.
PKR with Juliet.
Sadie sunning herself on the beach.