Reality Shows---Yuck!

I am not a fan of reality television programming.

I have rarely watched one for a whole season.

Now I realize there are some good ones.  Many of my friends love "Survivor" and the show where people go on some adventure, but the name escapes me right now.  Oh wait, it just came to me..."The Great American Race".

I did watch a couple seasons of "American Idol", but I tired of it after a while.

My girls love watching "The Voice", but I don't really care to watch it.

I watched "Dancing With The Stars" briefly one spring when Paul and I were doing a local "Dancing With The Stars" competition, so I understood how the show worked.

A couple of years ago, when we first started streaming Netflix through our Wii on our television, one of the show one of our daughters would watch was "Keeping Up With the Kardashians".  Yes, I admit, I would get sucked into the episodes as I would walk through.  I compare it to that phenomenon of gawking at a car accident....you know you are seeing something bad, but you just can't help but keep looking.

It is a bit appalling to me that the "housewives" of whatever town they are from are now celebrities and their lives are often front page news in the Entertainment section.

But this last week I read an article in our local newspaper that talked about a new trend in reality television programming.....being naked.

Ah yes, now you can watch shows that don't show the viewer the nakedness, (there are still standards in television programming after all), but I guess the thrill is seeing the reaction of the participants and their reaction to each other nakedness.

Two of the shows our there are "Dating Naked" and "Buying Naked".  Really?  Why would I want to watch a show that follows naked people buying real estate?  I don't get it.

Again, this whole reality tv show thing is a personal preference.  It just doesn't happen to be something I enjoy.  I think it usually shows people at their worst, just so we can either get a laugh or maybe say to ourselves that our life isn't so bad.

Now, I realize there are exceptions.  I have cried my way through many an "Undercover Boss", and "Home Makeover" episodes.  But the overall concept of reality television programming is not my thing.

So, if you need your weekly fix of "Dog the Bounty Hunter", or "Pawn Stars",  or that "Honey Boo-Boo" girl, you go right ahead and indulge in that guilty pleasure.  I, for one, will just turn in off, or change the channel.


Peace--Hold onto it, Don't let it get away....Embrace It!!

When I lived in Meridian, Idaho I attended a women's group through church, and one time we were challenged to pick a word, and do a study of that word in the Bible.

I remember the most memorable word study I did was on the word "Peace".

When I studied this word in the Bible, and let God teach me about Peace through the scriptures, my life was transformed. 

My heart has been very heavy this week.  There are a variety of reasons, but mostly because people I love and care about are hurting.  There has been much time spent in prayer. 

But I want to have peace.  Not worry.  Peace.

Philippians 4:7 says "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The peace of God does transcend all our understanding, and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  We can have peace.  We don't have to worry.  Because God can be trusted.

When I did this study, one verse in particular really changed the way I looked at peace.  I think I always thought Peace would magically descend upon me.  But I realized it doesn't work that way.

In Psalm 34:14, it says: "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."
Seek peace, and pursue it.  I had never thought of seeking peace and pursuing it for my life.  That is an action.  It isn't passively waiting for peace to descend on me.  It is seeking it, and pursuing it.
The Message Bible interprets the verse this way:
"Turn your back on sin; do something good. Embrace peace—don’t let it get away!"
Again, this is an action.  Embrace peace!!  Don't let it get away.  Hold on to peace.
It is rare to find peaceful people.  Many people are rattled, and going a million miles an hour, and seem to be in a constant state of motion.
I am thankful I can embrace peace, even when my heart is heavy, and people I love are sad, and other's hearts are hurting. 

Because when I am at peace, I can focus my prayers better on the situations around me, and be more loving and kind toward others. 
So this is what I try and do during times of heaviness of heart and unsettled spirit.....


Why Isn't My Home Office Done Yet?

Have you ever had one of those projects around the house that you just can't seem to accomplish?

I do!

It is my home office.

Two years ago, I decided to transform our guest room into my home office/creative space.

I started going through items in that room.

I put up a big desk made out of one of our old doors.

But after one day of sorting through items, progress came to a standstill.

And it hasn't progressed since.

The only thing that has changed in the room is more items have accumulated in there.

So, this is what the room looks like two years later.

This was one of the goals I wanted to accomplish this summer.

Get the old guest room cleaned out and organized so you will have a home office/creative space.

Paul emptied a book shelf downstairs that will be coming up to this room.

I spent time on Pinterest looking up ideas how I could arrange and decorate the space.

I even made a "To Do" list today, hoping if I broke down the massive job into little chunks or smaller jobs, I may make some progress.

So far, nothing has helped.  I have so many excuses.  It is too hot.  I am too tired.  I need to do this or that. 

I have 27 days until I have to report back to work.  I really want this project done before that time.

I think it is time to buckle down and get 'er done!

I used to joke about having house cleaning gnomes who would show up to clean people's houses.  I wonder if there are house organizing gnomes as well?  If so, I would like one of them to show up this week to help me out!!


Coeur d'Alene Indians--Chief Circling Raven's Prophesy

I enjoy learning about the early culture of the Coeur d'Alene Indians, who used to roam the land I live on freely for hundreds of years.

This is from a post I wrote back in 2007.  I like this story of Chief Circling Raven's Prophesy.


Most people in North Idaho are familiar with the name "Circling Raven" because it is the name of the golf course at the Coeur d'Alene Casino in Worley. But I'm not sure when this Schitsu'umsh chief had a vision hundreds of years ago that the casino and golf course were a part of what he saw.

This is one of my favorite stories about the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. I think because it has such a connection to the Cataldo Mission. In the book, "Beneath These Mountains", by Russell A. Bankson and Lester S. Harrison, the first chapter retells Chief Twisted Earth telling his son Tecomtee of his father Chief Circling Raven's prophesy.

"It was prophesied to me by your grandfather, Chief Circling Raven (unfortunately, the authors had the name wrong. They refer to him as Circulating Raven, but we now know different.) many years ago, even when I was very young like you, my son, that these strange people with the white skins, would come. In the time of my father, and his father before him, and his father before him, it was prophesied that these people would come from far away across the great waters, where the rising of the sun begins.

It was prophesied even in my time by the great and venerable Chief Circling Raven, my father, who was gifted of the Gods to know and understand the future. He saw that these white skinned ones would come first in small numbers and then in ever increasing numbers, and that there would be a time when they would seek to take our native lands from us by trickery or by violence. They would come carrying long sticks filled with the thunder of their Gods, against which no arrow nor spear could stand.

It was told to me that we must not pit our puny strength against their mighty power, lest we would be destroyed, every one, to the last man, woman and child. It was taught that when they come, we should meet them with offers of peace.

I have not told you this before because of the tenderness of your years. But now you stand on the threshold of manhood, and there will come that time when I, too, will be old and my spirit will depart from my body to join those of our ancestors.

The prophet, Circling Raven, wisely ruled our people for an hundred years from the time that is called 1660 to 1760, when at the age of 150 years his spirit departed. Then I, at the age of twelve years, was called upon to rule our people with the council of our sub-chiefs. This I have done now for 45 years.

I would now also tell you of other revelations and prophesies which were given to me by my venerable father, all of which are relieved and reverenced by our people.

He saw in his visions the birth many centuries ago of a great Savior of all the peoples of the earth. And he visioned the cruel death of this Savior at the hand of those who would not believe.

He saw the coming of emissaries of our Savior, and they were dressed in black robes, bringing the true words of hope for all peoples. They will come and they will teach us the ways of friendship with those who follow, so that there will be understanding among us.

For an hundred years your grandfather searched through the mountains and the canyons of our land for the Black Robes. And I have since searched diligently. Then one day three ravens possessed of the spirit of your grandfather, the prophet, flew to my teepee and sat upon the ridgepole. And they spoke to me in the tongue of my father, saying to have great patience and strong belief, for it would be from fifty to sixty years before the Black Robes arrived.

Jesuit Father Pierre Jean De Smet
I, my son, know in my heart that they will come, but it may be after I have departed from my body. So I charge you that if you then are Chief of our people, you will receive them and believe them as they will bring the true words of faith.

But before the Black Robes, there will come many people with the pale skins. And this I charge you, my son, that when they come, we who possess this land can make peace with these strangers who destroy life with the thunder of the Gods.

You have seen now the first of them to come. And as I was instructed many years ago by my father, Circling Raven, I met them with my wise counsellors when they approached the portals of our domain."


Vacation at Home: Walk Along Jackass Creek

Paul was nice enough one day to accompany me for a beautiful walk behind Kellogg High School along Jackass Creek.  We hiked as far as the old reservoir.  I am so blessed to live in a place with such beauty, and to work in this school with such beautiful surroundings, and a breathtaking view.

Paul heading down the trail.
Daisies along the path.  So pretty and cheerful.
A snake along the way.
The butterflies were really attracted to the deer fur.

Here is where the deer bed down at night.
Syringas are along every path I take. 
Beautiful blue sky.

Walking along the trail toward the reservoir.
Jackass Creek
Thimble Berries
Paul at the gates to the reservoir.  I remember back in the early 70's when there was a flood in Kellogg and we couldn't use our water, my sister took me up to the high school to shower because the reservoir provided water at that time for KHS and that water was still good.
Here we are, on the trail!!
Our view as we were leaving the trail.  The back of Kellogg High School
and the lovely mountains above.
More white flowers along the trail.
We went across the football practice field and found this bridge to cross Jackass Creek.
Crossing the creek.
We are now walking along the east side of Kellogg High School,
and are coming up on the KHS Annex.
Coming closer to the KHS Annex.
Front view of Kellogg High School.
This hike is less than five minutes from our front door.  Plus, it is right outside the place Paul and I work during the school year.  I hope to take advantage of this area more by walking this path during the school year when I need to take a break at work.  It will be fun to see the landscape change as the seasons change.


Kellogg, Idaho: Part Two

After moving back to Kellogg in 2000, I lived next door to a local museum, the Shoshone County Mining and Smelting Museum, also known as the Staff House Museum.  I got involved with the museum, and became a board member, and eventually was president of the board for a few years.

While on the board, I had the opportunity to learn all kinds of historical information about Kellogg and the Silver Valley.

One of the things I learned was that Noah Kellogg, who the town of Kellogg is named after, discovered the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining Company in 1885.  My dad was born in Kellogg in 1930.  If you do the math, this area had only been populated for about 45 years.  That isn't very long at all. 

My dad loved Kellogg, and loved living here.  When he was in high school, his mother moved to Spokane, Washington, and he moved with her, and did not like the move at all.  I recently found an old scrapbook of his from his high school days, and there were letters in there describing to friends how much he hated being away from Kellogg, and living in Spokane.  But he eventually made it back to Kellogg and brought his wife back here, and they raised their three children here.

Learning about the history of this area is quite interesting.  Kellogg and the Silver Valley have quite an historical past.  Because this was such a large producer of minerals in the late 1800's and early 1900's, many of the mining laws passed were developed here in the Silver Valley.  But back then, this area was known as "The Coeur d'Alene Mining District", of "The Coeur d'Alenes". 

First the gold rush up by Murray in the early 1880's brought people.  Then Noah made his way to the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River, and discovered some galena on the side of a hill (with some help from his jackass), and before you know it, mines were being discovered up and down the river, as well as along Canyon Creek and Nine Mile Canyon.

Mining Wars were prevalent in the 1890's with the Frisco Mine Mill getting blown up in 1892, and the Bunker Hill Mine Mill getting blown up in 1899.  These wars were a result of the union trying to get better working conditions and wages for the miners in the area.  Some of the fallout from the 1899 mining war was the assassination of  Governor Frank Steunenberg in Caldwell, Idaho in 1905.

Kellogg and the Silver Valley now offer many opportunities to found out the history of the Silver Valley, through museum such as the Staff House Museum, The Wallace Mining Museum, the Northern Pacific Depot Museum, The Captain John Mullan Museum, and the Oasis Bordello Museum.  You can also learn about mining by visiting the Crystal Gold Mine that will take you into the mountain and show you a former gold mine, and the Sierra Silver Mine Tour, where again you go into the mountain and learn about silver mining practices.  To learn about the early mining days in Wallace and along Canyon Creek, up towards the mining town of Burke, you can take the Ghost Town Trolley tour.

There is so much history in this area.  It doesn't take long to find something interesting.

These are some other reasons why I love living in Kellogg, Idaho.

If the history of this area interests you, look on the right hand column of my blog, and I have quite an extensive list of books you can read about the history of the Silver Valley.


Kellogg, Idaho: Part One

I was born and raised in a town called Kellogg, Idaho.

I moved away for close to 20 years, then returned to my hometown 14 years ago, and have never regretted the decision.

Kellogg is located in the north Idaho, on Interstate 90.  (Yes, in the skinny part.)

Right now is has a population of about 2,000.

It is part of a larger community called The Silver Valley, which encompasses communities along Interstate 90 from Cataldo to Mullan.

It is called the Silver Valley, because this area is the world's largest silver producer. 

There are a few mines still open in this area.  Back when I was growing up, there were mines located all over the Silver Valley.  But the year I graduated from high school, 1981, The Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining Company closed down, and was a huge blow to the Kellogg as well as the Silver Valley economy.

Kellogg is now more of a tourist town than a mining town.  Silver Mountain Resort is now a part of the town.  It has a Ski Hill with the world's longest gondola, an indoor water park, Galena Ridge Golf Course, and the Morning Star Lodge wear people can own or rent condos. 

But to me it is more than just a mining town or a tourist town.

It is where my roots are.  It is were I grew up.

I attended schools here, played sports, performed in the band and choir, performed on stage.  I was a Blue Bird and Campfire Girl, selling Campfire mints door to door so I could go to summer camp.

I helped clean and schools in the summer as part of my job.

I have climbed the hills.  I have ridden bikes on the roads.  I have developed friendships that have lasted a lifetime.  I attended church.  I babysat.  I picked huckleberries.  I went camping, and fishing and floated the river.

When Paul and I got married, we never had a plan to end up in Kellogg, Idaho.  But somehow we knew we would.  And we did.

I have friends who would love to move back here if only there were jobs available.  It is fun to listen to the stories of people who grew up here.  Most of the people I know loved growing up here, and the experiences they had while living here.

In a way I am glad I moved away for a while, then returned to Kellogg,  Because for me, it helped me appreciate this town even more.

This morning in church a young couple got up and shared about how glad they are to have moved to Kellogg after graduating from college, and how they love living here.  Another friend told them after the service how refreshing it was to here a young couple talk about how glad they are they live in Kellogg.  It is nice to hear positive things about my hometown.  Because I love it, too.

Kellogg, Idaho

A friend took a walk through the town of Kellogg recently, and posted it on her blog.  You can find the blog post here.



We have two dogs, and they are both Pomeranians.

Sadie is our oldest Pom, and she is our daughter Molly's dog.

Juliet is our younger Pom, and she is our daughter Zoe's dog.

They both are very different from one another.

When people see them together, they find it hard to tell them apart.  But there are some distinct differences.

Sadie will be 9 years old in September. 

Juliet is five years old.

Poms are very entertaining dogs.  I never thought I would own a "yapper dog", and I used to refer to little dogs like Poms.  But when we got Sadie for Molly, Sadie won me over.

Yes, they can be very yappy.  But they are also very affectionate, and cuddly and have great personalities.

This summer has been quite the summer for our Poms.

In May, it was determined Sadie had Gall Stones, and a Kidney Stone.  So surgery commenced, and out came the gall stones.  She is on a special diet to break up the Kidney Stone. 

This week, Juliet swallowed a metal object.  They went in the remove the object, and the vet discovered her gall bladder was enlarged about 10 times the size it should be.  The gall bladder needed to come out.  So out came the gall bladder, the quarter was located in the stomach and removed, and now Juliet is home recovering from her surgery.

We fondly referred to Sadie as the "Money Pit" because of all the things we needed to do medically for her in the last two months.  But now Juliet has taken over that title, because, she, literally, was a money pit.  Sadie's nickname changed to "Rock Quarry" since she had gall stones removed.

I love our pets, and our little Poms make our lives so much richer.  Sure, they do things that drive us crazy, but we love them very much, and I couldn't imagine life without them.


What in the Hail Happened Here Tonight???

I am interrupting my normal blog to report on the hail storm that blew through here around 5 p.m. this afternoon.  It was something.  In fact, there is still hail out in our yard right now, and it is almost 10 p.m.

Once the storm started I went outside and took some pictures to document this storm.  I am going to share some of the pictures to give you a little glimpse at what rolled through here.

Before the storm began there were blue skies in the east.
The rain started falling hard, and there was  lots of thunder and lightening.
Then the blue sky went away.
The rain coming down off the roof.

Once the hail started, it really poured off the roof.

Hail coming down in the backyard.

Off the roof.

In the backyard

In the front yard.

More backyard hail.

More hail and water running off the roof.
The zuchinni

These flowers actually fair pretty well.

This sunflower was just about to bloom today...but the stem was broken off.

Hail filled the toilet planter.

Hail covered the front flower bed.

Flowers with hail in the background.

Hail filled the kitchen sink.

These herbs don't look too bad.

Hail and mint.

Marigolds are looking okay.

Sunflowers trampled by the hail.

The oregano will be okay.

Black eyed Susans got hit pretty hard.

Moonbeam Coreopsis stripped of flowers.

Petals taken off of these flowers.

After the hail stopped, a mist covered the backyard.

Hailing in front of the house.

Hail on the chair.

Hail covered the front yard in a blanket of white.

Hail in the grass.

More hail.

Hail on the roof
More sunflowers not looking good.
Thankfully no one was hurt, and none of our property was damaged, as far as we can tell.  We will have some leaves, branches and other debris to pick up tomorrow in the yard.
It was quite a phenomenon.  My phone kept giving me warning about the Severe Thunderstorm coming our way, and they were correct.  It was severe.
I am hoping once the plants get a little sun, they will recuperate a bit from the hail damage.
We'll see when the sun comes out tomorrow.