Since I began this magazine years ago, I always dreamed that it would do some good in the world- that that the articles would mean something, that the advertising would matter, that it would bring joy into people’s lives, if only in a small way. And with every issue I swear I’ve been gifted back by it tenfold in some way or another, even if at times it meant I was extremely focused on gratitude for the duration in creation of every page. And this issue was no exception. Without prompt, word or wish, my writers created what I’d like to call the “Mindfulness Issue.” Each deadline, I open emails from these writers with much anticipation. I love how their individual personalities and experiences are shared so openly with you and this issue is no exception. I am more proud of these writers than you’ll ever know, because even in the face of a rough year, they continued to put forth words for youeven though in times of stress it’s almost always certain that creative thinking is the first thing to go. But with my amazing team, I feel they have pushed through and created an issue that I am unbelievably proud to print. I know we are all at different places in life, but I believe the one thing that brings us together is that we all know we deserve peace, and only benefit from the light that inner happiness creates and ultimately radiates. And if you ever met me, I might be/ think/act/feel completely different from you, but I only wish you the very best. I believe that when we focus, center ourselves and create happiness within, it ultimately serves everyone. And that is exactly what I’ve been trying to do with this publication. I know it’s not a total escape from the world, but I hope it encourages you to look within yourself for the light. As I’ve always felt, if you can’t find the light, be one. I’m wishing you a year filled with hope, joy, and above all, peace. I hope you read this issue and feel inspired to adapt a different way of thinking, try something new, or let something that is no longer serving you go. I hope you practice gratitude, journal your experiences, listen to the silence and never give up on your dreams. There has never been a better time to start living in a positive mindset- I hope this issue brings you a little head start! Thank you for reading this magazine, for bringing out the best in me and each other. Here’s to a new year of possibilities that begin and end with your happiness and peace within. Love,
Heather Niccoli Editor-In-Chief Home&Harvest Magazine
for your pleasure 10 18 24 28 34 38 44 50 58 62 64
getting to gratefulness your primary resource silence flank to flame soda heart bread keto chocolate cream pie bread baking part 2 first, a handmade fountain new beginnings a real, live carebear the thrill of hope
getting to gratefulness by
One of the greatest things I have ever learned from Heather is the absolute necessity to practice the art of gratefulness every day. Its something that she learned while looking for ways to battle anxiety, but this simple practice is so universal and reaffirming that it works wonders for anyone. You don’t need to be getting over anxiety, depression, worry, doubt or unhappiness to be a candidate for this mode of thinking, you just have to be a human and have a desire to improve your life in measurable ways. So here we are in January – the absolute perfect time to start. For most of the year, if a friend or loved one were to suggest to you that you should adopt a new habit, or take on a new activity that could change your life, be honest here, wouldn’t your response be “but I just don’t have time for that.” I know I’ve been guilty of that many times. You should meditate – but I just don’t have time for that. You should exercise – but I just don’t have time for that. You should prepare healthy and nutritious food – but I just don’t have time for that. You should indulge in a new hobby – but I just don’t have time for that. And then along comes January. New Year. New resolutions. And suddenly I find myself saying “I should meditate, exercise, eat healthy food, and take more time for my passions. In fact, I’m going to commit that in 19xx or 20xx, my resolution will be…” See how quickly it changes? In January, we always feel that we have time for improvement. We always state definitively that this will be the year of change. This trip around the sun will be better and different, and we will find the time. So make a quick commitment to yourself if you want to feel better about life, and add the resolution of gratitude to your 2021 list. The best part – this one actually doesn’t take any more time. In fact, it saves some. For me, the statement of practicing gratefulness seemed almost too simple when I first heard it. My true reaction was to say that I already did it. All the time, I practiced gratitude, every single day. And I’m sure you feel the same. But saying a quick word of thanks before a meal, or being happy that the light turned green when you were in a hurry, or saying that it’s great to have a day without rain just isn’t the real thing. Of course you have some thoughts of gratitude – or backhanded pessimism – every day. But living in gratitude is something all together different. It is something much more. Heather pointed out to me a few things I had to realize before I was ready to truly admit the thoughts I had, the way I reacted to the world around me (especially disappointment or frustration) and the tiny fraction of time I spent being grateful for the wonders of my life and the bounty that I have. I don’t mean to paint a picture of some year-long-Grinch, a curmudgeon shaking a fist at the world around him, and never satisfied with anything in his world. I was just a normal person. Most likely, I was just like you are today if you haven’t ever taken the time to really explore these thoughts. I was mostly happy – in fact I would say tremendously so. I appreciated many things in life, and lived in balance most days. Like anyone else, I also had days or events that got-
N REBUILDING COMMUNITY
-me down, and sometimes felt agitated when I saw things weren’t going my way. But anyone who knew me, at any point in my life, would have definitely described me as a happy and grateful person. It was the thoughts that crept by between the conscious thoughts that said something different. And it took some real introspection and practice to catch myself in the act. The first thing was when Heather would challenge me to say something grateful right in the middle of an emotion of anger, hurt, or impatience. I would tell her about someone at work that was being difficult, or how I got stuck in ridiculous traffic on the 405, or some other event – entirely insignificant in the bigger pattern of life, but fully encompassing in the moment – and Heather would listen, and then just ask me to name 5 things that I was grateful for. Try that sometime; you’ll be amazed how hard it is to do. Finish a sentence about someone who did you wrong and hurt you, and then say how much you love going for a walk in the park, or thinking of a cherished memory from your childhood that still comforts you today. It can be something simple, I was allowed to get away with things like that awesome smell of our new shampoo, or the person who invented ice cream when I was just starting. But right there – in the moment – with Heather smiling and waiting, I would find it almost impossible, with an open and honest heart, to just list 5 things and mean it. “You don’t understand. This idiot was changing lanes every 15 feet while traffic was almost at a standstill. You know that makes it like 100 times worse! And then, he gets off one exit after he got on. Can you believe it! Oh, and I guess I’m grateful that I didn’t run out of gas or get in that 20 car pileup I passed. There, see I’m very grateful.” I’m telling you, its actually hard to do. Some strange part of your subconscious whispers to you. Its says that you don’t need this right now. Of course you know how to be happy and appreciative. There is so much time for that later. But right now, just because of how serious this other thing is, you need to feel this torment a little longer. It’s hard to shut up that little voice and dramatically change your posture, facial expression, intention, and focus, and then deliver 5 things that you cherish. But once you do, you come to a simple and startling realization. These are two different parts of the brain, and they just aren’t able to operate at the same time. And once you grab onto that, and learn to use it in the reverse, it becomes very powerful. Because, you can’t be truly grateful and resentful at the same time. You can’t have joy and anxiety simultaneously. There isn’t any way to be appreciative and depressed in the same moment. So you learn to grind it out. The first one or two items come out more as a way to get out of the exercise than because you really mean it. But it gets a little easier as you go. You hit 5 or 10 and that little voice in your subconscious gets quiet.
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You get to 20 and decide that you don’t want to stop. Make it to 30, and you’ll be ready to write for Hallmark or Lifetime. By 50 you won’t even remember the problem that started this exercise. And all along this path, you’ll notice that your list of gratitude becomes more genuine and meaningful. Shampoo and ice cream make way for love and spirituality. With the last year, and all of its stresses, now might be a particularly easy time to notice those thoughts in yourself, and police your reactions. Its simple to catch the extremes and work in a few thoughts of gratitude, but the real success will come from taking the next step and acknowledging your subtle thoughts. Some of these even masqueraded as gratefulness – like saying you are glad that something didn’t happen to you, or that you don’t suffer from something worse. All those thoughts do is pull your focus back to lack, worries, and unappreciative expectation. If you find yourself on that path, just slow down your thinking and drive home the difference. Don’t be glad that you didn’t get sick this year – be grateful for your health. Don’t list managing to not get laid off during a recession – give thanks for having a great job or opportunity. And never allow any sarcasm to sneak in by listing something you feel wasn’t enough, or any wishes that are unfulfilled. It’s fine to hope for and strive for more in life, and it’s a habit that leads to success, but you should still work to phrase it in a positive light and separately from your current list of gratitude. Maybe even include it as a work in progress, instead of appreciation. For me, I started 2020 saying that this would be the year I wrote a novel that I’d been thinking about for a while now, and as 2020 ended I wasn’t even halfway done. I found myself saying that I was grateful that I’d started. But after reflecting I realized that I was putting that on my list as a punishment. Because I wasn’t really glad I had started, I was just reminding myself that I hadn’t finished. So I focused on the positives and forced myself to change the message. I am grateful that I finished as much as I did – it turns out this is going to be much longer than I anticipated, and I already wrote the equivalent of a short book. I am grateful that I still love it so far, and that it hasn’t become a chore. I’m grateful that I get to continue. I’m grateful that 2021 will be the most exciting part. And now, after refocusing, I am actually grateful that I started, without any sarcasm or self-defeat. Over the last few years, as I’ve really sharpened my skills of gratitude, I’ve noticed three very interesting things. The first is simple, that I have a long way to go. It’s a journey of a lifetime and not something mastered quickly and then without room for constant improvement. The second thing is that I have more to be grateful for. And no, I don’t mean that in some philosophical way, like once you know what you have you have everything you could ever need. I mean it in a purely tangible way. By becoming grateful I have more. I have more success in work. I have more time to enjoy life. I have more opportunities opening in front of me every day. I just have more.
I do appreciate it more, and I could absolutely find joy and inner peace with much less now. But instead, I have been gifted with more. And the final thing that I’ve noticed these last few years is that this really isn’t something new. As I spent more and more time focusing on gratitude, and trying to realign my thoughts, I started to notice this simple message everywhere, going back thousand of years. This appears in all the Abrahamic religions, with God repeatedly calling specific attention to it. The number one, most repeated command in the bible isn’t one of the 10 commandments or a warning about something bad that you shouldn’t be doing – its actually gratefulness and inner peace. Just think about how many times you read rejoice, give thanks, be not afraid, and other related calls to action letting us know that the most important way we can take care of ourselves is to be still of mind and grateful. From there I followed it to other religions and teachings. It appears as a fundamental premise of Budism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Shintoism. Gratitude is found in writings from the most visionary philosophers, and as a basic tenant of the truly successful. Take just a moment to reflect on the people you have met or read about that are the most enlightened, kind, joyful, or prosperous. Can’t you see this way of thinking and behavior in their everyday approach to life? Now think about – don’t judge, because you have certainly been there too – but just think about that family member or coworkers who always seems to get the worst outcome in life, or always has the deck stacked against them. Do you see them living in gratitude, and expressing it, or dwelling in the negativity every day? If you see the value, see the outcomes, and want to make a resolution to better your life, and then reach out and offer some friendly advice that could help others, just start small with this resolution. Reaffirm what you value, and what you have. Give thanks for your life every day. Life really is a gift. How do you teach a child to behave when they receive a gift? “What do we say, Timmy?” Before they even get to enjoy it, they have to say thanks. There they are, just dying to play with this new amazing toy, holding it in their hands, but we train them to wait, and give thanks for receiving it. Are you acting that same why every day? Don’t worry if you aren’t there yet. You can see an improvement in your mind and body just by starting small. Flowers, sunsets, campfires, pizza – just get on a roll with a few easy ones until you are ready to give thanks for heavier, more philosophical things. Loved ones, memories, new generations – as you move past the simple possessions and diversions, and into actual blessings you will find it easy to get back to that feeling. It will become second nature to pause a negative thought, fear, or sadness, and quickly uplift yourself with the knowledge that life really is the greatest gift. By simply remembering the need to feel grateful you will be on the-
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-path to getting it right even if you have some trouble in the beginning.
And it goes far past religion and into science. Psychologists measure the effects of a grateful personality, and have demonstrated that it tends to correlate with lower levels of depression and anxiety along with all the benefits of hope, positivity, happiness, and more satisfaction in your life. Brain scans even back up the idea that it isn’t fully possible to hold these conflicting emotions at the same time – proving that gratitude does dispel fear and sorrow. And even without any interest in the historical religious teachings, it’s easy to see a humanistic and spiritual side to this practice that doesn’t require a specific dogma. When you spend time lingering in these positive feelings, and absolutely embracing the abundance of all that life has to offer you, you change the biochemical processes occurring in your brain, and force your body to change its production of hormones, creating a physical change with your thoughts. Think that sounds like a stretch? Just ponder the last time you called in sick but were faking it. Its okay to admit it here, we have all done that at least once. Maybe you held the thermometer on the light bulb to fool mom, or practiced your best sore-throat and cough routine before calling work. Its okay, I’ve done it too. The problem is you get locked in the lie. You can’t go out that day – someone from work would see you. You can play in the backyard – mom would catch on. So you spend the day in pajamas, lying on the couch, watching reruns (younger readers should stop here and be grateful for having Netflix on sick days – you have no idea how bad it was for us, its what kept generations walking uphill in snow to school as a way to avoid another episode of The Price is Right or Saved By the Bell). Hours would pass, with you dressed like you were sick, acting like you were sick, telling anyone who asked that you were sick and what happened in the end? You felt sick, right? By the end of the day when the other kids were home and playing, or when work was over and you would normally be going out, you couldn’t even imagine it. You just wanted to stay in pajamas or sweats and not leave the couch, you might have even wondered if you did have a bit of a fever. So if you know that you can make yourself feel that way – with nothing more than a thought, why is it so hard to imagine doing the opposite? Why does the idea of making yourself well with a thought run so contrary to our normal paradigm of understanding? Practice it for a while and you will be startled with the results. You can get yourself off the couch and out the door with some positivity and gratitude. You can realign your thoughts and force your body to follow with changes in its chemical process and then actually feel the results while you are still working on it. Don’t just occasionally throw the “blessed” hashtag on something and expect to feel different or alter your life. Do the work to monitor your quick little thoughts, the ones that are almost subconscious, as they speed by between your deliberate thoughts. Search out the ones that aren’t serving you and change them. Force a new pattern and you will see a new outcome. Decide today that you are done with negativity about 2020. If you have been wishing the year would end, laughing at memes saying how bad it was getting, or how each month was so much worse, or just doom-scrolling through the fall and winter wondering when civility and unity would finally return, take a moment now to acknowledge that. Be grateful for anything good that those behaviors have brought you, and be honest with yourself if you can’t find anything good in them at all. And now put down that reactive habit that isn’t serving you and replace it with something that will bring you joy. When you exchange that bad behavior for something you love, and simultaneously redirect your thoughts to the gratitude you feel for creating something new and wonderful in your life you will feel an improvement that is actually more that just the some of those two parts. But it takes vigilance, and practice. It needs to be a resolution that you hang onto if you want it to work. This morning, while having our coffee, I said that I needed to write my article today. Heather just smiled and said “no – you get to write your article today.” That little reminder made all the difference. Today I got to write an article about gratitude, and for that I’m abundantly grateful.
Jan/Feb 2021 17
your primary resource by zachary wnek
Alf Robinson USS Hornet scrapbook)
Sunday, December 1, 1935... ...For sometime I have been contemplating the idea of keeping some kind of record of the happenings of each day. And so after much thot [sic] I jot down the happenings of this day. - Unknown Latah County, Idaho author - LCHS Archives, SC 1992-28 When I sort through the LCHS archives, there are a few pieces of documentary resources that make me, as a historian, excited. These are journals, diaries, and personal reflections of residents. Journals, or diaries, take all sorts of formats. Some are handwritten, some have been typed or transcribed, and others have been spoken and recorded. What matters, to me, is the content rather than the format. These primary resources range from the exhilarating to the mundane and paint a very clear picture of what life was like at a given moment in time, from the author’s point of view. Historical research in the zeitgeist would have us believe that the Holy Grail is merely an adventure away (Indiana Jones) or more recently that there is a treasure map hidden on the back of the Declaration of Independence (National Treasure). There are indeed some romantic ideas about these intimate and personal records. Let me clue you in: it’s generally pretty boring, and that’s what makes it awesome. For example, let’s take a look at this snippet from the journal of William Lieuallen as the Lieuallen family crossed the plains in a wagon in 1864. June 26th,  Sunday. Traveled about 26 miles Still through the black hills. Up one hill and down to another. About 18 miles the worst road that I found. Drove till after night to get water at a great spring near a graveyard. - William Lieuallen - Latah County Historical Society Archives, SC 1992-59
Jan/Feb 2021 20
Now, anyone who was expecting Hamilton style drama would be sorely disappointed by this account. To people looking to understand the daily life of westward pioneers as they crossed into the Pacific Northwest, this account is exciting. This diary entry tells us one dayâ€™s journey through the Black Hills. The group traveled (about) 26 miles in this single day. Moving from dawn until after dark in order to secure water for the party. This tells us that the quest for water along the trail was vital along their journey. This also describes the terrain, up one hill and down another. Did this account describe everything that happened on June 26, 1864, within the party? I would seriously doubt it. Did this account tell us if the children in the party tripped over loose gravel as evening drew near? Did this account tell us about the relief and joy they experienced when they came across the spring? Did this account tell us how they even knew where the spring was - did they ask other travelers, local people? It tells us none of these things. The diary does give us an accounting of the trail and the journey overland, which took a family walked across North America (the wagon was for hauling supplies, not for sitting) for 1,739 miles. This record was presumably written at the end of the day, nearly daily. We can assume that William Lieuallen was a bit tired after a full day of traveling, which could be one reason why the recorded remarks were so brief. As you can see some short lines of the written script can survive over a hundred and fifty years. These short lines can help us learn about the daily life of people long gone. Journals take all shapes and forms. Sometimes we get small passages as seen above. Other times we get a more detailed accounting of a day. This excerpt comes from Alfred B. Robinson, son of Frank Bruce Robinson (creator of Psychiana) and Pearl Robinson. Tues. Jan. 1, 1946, We all spent a quiet day at home. Alfie [author] completed his scrap book of Hornet pix (USS Hornet, WWII aircraft carrier). Ham and apple pie for dinner. Raoul was here too (sister Florencesâ€™ boy friend). Spent most of the day in big room (living room). About 100 sparrows came in and I fed them in the backyard. A swell day. The best new year since the war (WWII). Here we have an accounting of the dawn of 1946 as experienced in Moscow, Idaho. The author talks about their past experiences (serving on the USS Hornet during WWII), the people around them, their diet, living situation and their impressions of the day. It informs the dawn of 1946 as experienced by local Moscow, Idaho residents.
Viola, March 10, 1884 Since my last memoranda there has been very much change in our country. The name of our Post Office has been changed first to Fourmile and now as above to Viola. We have a little town on the South and West forming our place. The town consists of Seven families including One Hotel and two boarding houses. Two Saloons or Gin mills and two Stores. Planing mill and Blacksmith shop. We have a nice Schoolhouse one good school. Regular preaching only once in a month. Taken from page 46 of Elmer Palmer’s diary. Latah County Historical Society Archives, SC PAL-1. Primary documents in a variety of formats inform our lives in Idaho. It is through these documents that history is recorded. These original recordings provide the source material for scholarship, which connects these stories to answer larger questions and create rich, written histories of our past. The first step of history is up to you. The first step of understanding our region is through your writing. How are you recording your days? Are you posting daily on Facebook? Do you keep a daily journal? Perhaps you post a new dance on TikTok to express your feelings. Whatever you do I would suggest that you periodically back up your data, preserve your journals, and keep your stories safe. If you want your story to be known in history, it first has to be recorded. Personally, my family captures our lives through digital photographs and journaling. Since my boys are too young to write their recollections themselves I ask them a simple question and record their stories: “What was your favorite thing you did today?”
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Silence Silence by Annie Gebel
I remember how my mom would sometimes turn off the radio when we were driving someplace. Of course, she sometimes turned it down to scold us kids or find a turn. And sometimes she turned it up to tune us out. But the times she’d turn it off always caught me by surprise. I’d feel weird, confused. Silence was so odd, even 30 years ago! One day I finally asked her why she’d want to drive in silence. “I just need to hear myself think,” was her answer. I accepted it then, but didn’t get it until I got older.
The first time I turned the radio off in the car, I did it consciously and with curiosity. My kids were confused, but I reassured them that I just wanted to see what it was like. I wanted to see if I could hear my own thoughts a little better. I wanted to be in silence. I wanted some gosh darn peace and quiet. The kids looked at each other and shrugged, but didn’t question my explanation, although, I’m sure they won’t get it for a few years either. A few years ago we moved to a city outside of Washington, DC. There were stoplights everywhere. My husband counted once and he had to go through as many stop lights in the 35 mile drive to his DC job and we went through on the 400 mile drive to see our families in Western New York. There were pedestrians everywhere - in the crosswalks, in the medians, running in the streets, jogging on the sidewalks. Some looked, some didn’t. And the bikes! There were stop lights at the bike path crossings, which were great except that half the cyclists didn’t wait for a green light. Half might be an exaggeration, but not much of one. Any time we left the house was mentally exhausting. I didn’t recognize any of that until we’d been there for a while and I thought I was losing my mind. I realized, though, that the problem was I couldn’t turn down the noise. I couldn’t get away from the mental input. Everything seemed rushed and pushed. From the kids activities to trying to socialize to grocery shopping. No chances to pause. No chances to sit still without getting passed by. And, interestingly enough, as I typed that last sentence, I realized that if you’re sitting still, truly still, you don’t care what’s passing you by. In fact, you welcome the change of scenery as you witness life moving and find beauty and contentment in stillness. There, though, if something passed you it felt more like you were missing out or falling behind. Everything felt so hard there, at least for me. I met people who were thriving there, but I was drowning. So, fast forward through decisions to retire from the Navy, uproot our family one last time, move to an area we’ve never lived but in a part of the country we had. And now, there’s stillness. So much. It’s like we turned the radio off. We can hear our own thoughts...and better yet, we can hear and see nature’s thoughts all around us.
We don’t have stop lights everywhere, but we do have stars. Over the summer we downloaded apps to help us identify the constellations and when we lay down to bed, my husband and I note the same star outside the window (unless it’s cloudy), saying goodnight. The moon is visible all cycle long, from its new moon sliver to its full moon bounty all the way until it wanes away to darkness before becoming new again. That visible moon cycle was part of what I needed to hear my own thoughts. I needed the cyclical reminder to be still and in quiet... and then to come alive again with renewed energy and ideas.
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The moon’s cycles aren’t the only ones I’m truly connecting to now that I’m living so much more in nature. The seasons themselves are speaking to me again. I heard many people commenting this fall that the leaves were so vibrant. I’m fairly certain that was just for me. And even with all those fiery colors, I still recognized the messages of autumn. I felt how I could enjoy the harvest and how I could begin to slow down from the excitement of summer. In our lives, summer was all about moving and settling in, so tons of excitement, but like any good rush, once it wore off, those autumn vibes were welcome. And as fall wore on and we moved into winter, I found myself winding down even more, right along with Mother Nature. There were times that I questioned how I could possibly slow down more, but then I did. I found another project that I really didn’t need to give my energy to. I found ten minutes when I could go for a walk on our land and feel the cold breeze on my cheeks. I found the messages of winter calling me to more stillness. Even more quiet. Maybe these sentiments are something you can relate to, no matter where you live. Maybe it seems like after all these months of Covid forcing us to do less, see fewer people, and stay home more, you can’t imagine slowing down any more. Yet, that’s winter’s call to us. So, for the past few months, that’s what I’ve been doing. Enjoying that stillness. Feeling the peace. Turning everything down, a few things off, and hearing my own thoughts. And now, spring is coming! Spring used to be my favorite time of year as a child. I loved the way trees blossomed and everything greened up. I even liked the mud and the puddles! That’s always been my favorite season, whenever anyone has asked, but honestly - I really haven’t taken the time to notice it for a while now. I’ve just been answering without thinking. We moved into our new home at the summer solstice last year, and since then I’ve taken in so much of all the seasons all their lessons, messages, and feels. They’re all my favorite, right now... except I haven’t experienced a spring here yet. But it’s coming... and I’m starting to get excited. I’m beginning to wonder what’s going to push through the ground first here. Which trees are going to get their leaves first? What is going to bloom in me? Will spring still be my favorite? Now that I can hear my own thoughts and have felt connected to the full seasonal cycle and all the many moon cycles in the year, it’s time to decide if I want to turn that radio back on. Right now, though, I think I’ll keep it off. It is really empowering and enlightening to rediscover what I believe, feel, and think rather than being so caught up in the go, go, go that so often fills our lives. Maybe that’s another thing you can identify with in your Covid life too. Slowing down, even when it’s not voluntary, can teach us so much. Being still can teach us where we want to put our energy. May your spring hold new beginnings, but may you eek out a few more weeks of winter’s rest. Hear your own thoughts.
Flank to Flame
Light up Valentine’s Day
Its almost here. February 14th. Valentine’s Day! Do you have your plans in motion? Do you have the snow cleared off your grill? Those aren’t divergent thoughts. Being ready, willing, and able to grill a masterpiece of a meal, and doing something special for the ones you love on a meaningful day can and should be the same train of thought. But before you start, take a quick look at your methods, and decide what gift you want to give. I’m not talking about deciding on steak or salmon, but on giving an act of service, or quality time. Some of you will have already recognized those as two of the expressions of “love language” – maybe you even took a little survey online and already know which type you are, and what your partner likes. Heck, you might even know which Gilmore Girl you are based on your favorite jellybeans, what vintage cartoon hero fits your personality based on your sock color, or the stage-name for a future profession you’re considering based on the street where you grew up. Yep, the internet is full of little surveys and tests, so don’t fear if you haven’t mastered the types of love language yet. Just focus on the two simple ones that are most relevant to making dinner for someone special.
For Heather and I, we often work as a team when I grill, but that isn’t necessarily quality time. I’ll be out watching the flames and she will be inside whipping up a side dish or condiment. Its great to share the work, but it really isn’t a gift in either way. For a special meal like Valentine’s Day, I would try to either work directly with her, each step of the way, or just let her enjoy a bath and a good book while I take care of every part of the food prep. There is no wrong answer here, but don’t drink a beer alone while flipping steaks, then expect someone else to do the dishes and still have it count as a romantic gesture. If you haven’t cooked with your partner before, or maybe they just aren’t into grilling, this could be a great time to share the process together. You can still do the dishes after, but work alongside them every step of the process, and show them how you do that grilling you love. You do love grilling don’t you – if not how on earth did you get this far into one of my articles? Maybe take a little time to get all the ingredients ready, along with salt and spices and have your partner help you season everything, let them turn the steaks, let them have a little peek under the lid (but only one, quick peek – if you’ve learned anything in the last 6 years of these articles it should be to stop lifting the lid every 30 seconds, people). You can even get your partner evolved in the process of choosing the protein, and planning the recipe. If you have seen them happiest when you do things together, and believe this would be fun for them, grilling as a team and enjoying quality time is a great idea. Just remember that to someone who does most of the cooking, this could feel a little like more work. They won’t want to feel that you need them to help, or to make a decision on what to eat if that is their job most days. If that sounds more like your work-eat balance then just take on the entire task yourself. Check the fridge and freezer without asking them. Drop by the store yourself and grab anything you are missing. Prep without them even knowing, serve up a feast, and then do the dishes and cleanup without them asking. Its just a little act of service, but it will go a long way if this isn’t your normal household pattern. Either way you go, I decided to put together something a little fancy for this issue, but I kept it reasonable in scope to accomplish all by yourself, or while training someone new to grilling. I hope you both enjoy it! Our side dish is going to be asparagus with an amazing cheese sauce. At a swanky steak house you might just order your asparagus with hollandaise, and with all the cooks in their kitchen, it would come out timed perfectly with the meal, but we won’t be able to pull that off at home. Remember, the whole idea is to not have your love working away over the stove while you grill. So instead, we are going to make a super simple sauce using one package of fancy cheese that already comes well seasoned from the store.
I like the Boursin garlic and herb, but this would still be great with one of their other flavors, or a different soft, white, cow’s milk cheese instead. For mine, I just melt the entire 5oz puck before I cook, slowly adding 4 or 5 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream along the way to thin it out a little. I hit it with some salt and pepper or lemon pepper at the very end. Once its melted, I bring the heat down to the lowest setting and I run in to stir it occasionally as I’m grilling. For the asparagus, give a nice coating of olive oil, and liberally salt and pepper before it goes on the grill. You want medium-high direct heat. If you use a basket you can throw in a few small bits of garlic, or going directly on the grill just hit it with garlic powder first. This should only take about 10 minutes to cook so it times well with many simple proteins, or can be started later for something that takes longer to cook. To keep this manageable for one cook, let’s look at the option of portabella mushrooms, 1” thick New York Strip steaks, or chicken breasts. Why did I pick these? Because they all should cook at about the same temperature and speed as our asparagus. Simple is the key here. We want you to look like a star, we want your partner to be amazed, and we want you stay inside where it’s warm for most of your grilling in February. To do the chicken breast, start by leveling them to be the same thickness throughout. Just put them in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pink to carefully beat down the thicker side until it’s about the same height as the thinner end. Doing it this way lets it cook faster, and cook evenly. No more burnt, over-done chicken just because you want that thicker side cooked safely! To do the portabella steaks, just pop off the stem. I like to leave the gills but you can remove those too. A little acid, like a balsamic vinegar or soy sauce makes a perfect marinade, but you can also skip that step and still make something delicious. For the steak – really any cut at about 1” thick, but Heather loves the New York Strip so that’s my grilling choice for a special date– there isn’t any prep needed before the seasoning. Whichever protein you chose, remember to season it before you grill. I know, I sound like a broken record saying this in every article, but it really makes all the difference. Hit them with some oil, and liberally salt and pepper. All three should cook in about 10 minutes, just like the asparagus, with a single flip at about the half-way point. That keeps you inside and warm, and lets you stir that cheese sauce along the way. Remember to check your temperature on the steak or chicken – great grillers don’t just guess. Before you start, throw together a simple salad, get that cheese sauce going on the stove, and then rock the grill. What is that, maybe 30 minutes for total prep, cooking and cleanup? Too easy! And you get to be the chef, the butler, and the romantic all while you either share a fun activity with your partner or pamper them by letting them relax while you handle everything. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Emory Ann Kurysh Makes 12 (For the cupcakes) 1 cup butter, room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 2 egg whites 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp lemon juice 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tbsp milk (For the frosting) 1 1/2 cups icing sugar 2 tbsp butter 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp lemon juice 6 tbsp milk (more or less, depending on desired consistency) Sprinkles, optional Steps: 1. Preheat oven to 350Â°F and line 12 muffin cups with liners. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and egg whites until they are smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Sift in the flour, then add the baking powder, stirring until completely combined. Set aside. 2. In another bowl, mix the cocoa powder and milk together. Then fold in half of the cupcake batter, stirring until it becomes a smooth chocolatey mixture. 3. Using a teaspoon, add a heaping spoonful of vanilla batter to each muffin cup. Use another spoon for the chocolate, and repeat until all of the batter is gone and all of the cups are even. (They should be nearly half full.) Take a toothpick and swirl each cup around a couple of times. Then place in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 4. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Once the muffins have cooled, spread icing over each one. Using a cake decorating kit will yield the prettiest results. Top with sprinkles, if so desired! Finish off your Valentineâ€™s Day- or any- meal with these beautiful, lovely cupcakes!
soda heart bread kitchen: emory ann kurysh
Once again, this bread is deliciously dairy-free! However, you can swap buttermilk for almond milk and vegan butter for the real stuff in a heartbeat! Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 1 large egg 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3 tbsp granulated sugar 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 6 tbsp vegan butter Steps: 1. Preheat oven to 400Â°F. In a medium-sized bowl, add the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and egg. Whisk until well-combined. Set aside. 2. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Then cut in the butter and keep mixing until flour becomes crumbly. Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and once it becomes a dough that isnâ€™t too sticky, start kneading with your hands. Flour a surface and continue to knead for a few minutes, or until the dough has an even consistency throughout. 3. Using a cast iron skillet or baking sheet with parchment paper, place the rounded out dough on top. Then cut a heart into the middle using a sharp knife or razor blade. Place in oven, and cook for 45 minutes or until bread becomes golden brown. Remove, let cool, then eat! Serve fresh with butter, or toast and turn into sandwiches. (This can be stored in an airtight room temperature container for up to five days.)
Ingredients: 4 tbsp oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium onion, chopped 3 tbsp tomato paste 3 medium beets, peeled and chopped with gloves 3 medium potatoes, any kind, peeled and chopped into 1â€? cubes 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped 1 head celery, chopped 8 cups water 2 vegetable stock cubes 3 tsp dill, freshly chopped or dried 1 tsp ground thyme 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper
Valentineâ€™s Day Borscht Soup
Steps: In a large saucepan, heat the oil, garlic, onion, and tomato paste over medium-low for 10 minutes. Then chop and add the beets, potatoes, carrots, and celery one at a time. Once all combined, pour in the water. Top off with the vegetable stock cubes, dill, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for approximately 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables have softened. Then remove from heat. Serve warm and fresh within a day or two. Or, freeze and thaw the night before serving.
Jan/Feb 2021 36
Sara’s Keto Chocolate Cream Pie
Kitchen: Sara Raquet Crust Ingredients 1 cup crushed pecans 2 TB butter melted 1 Tsp Lakanto Monkfruit Granulated Sweetener Whipped Cream Ingredients: 3 cups heavy whipping cream ⅓ cup Lakanto Monkfruit Powdered Sweetener
Chocolate Filling Ingredients: ½ cup cocoa 8 oz package cream cheese, softened 1 ¼ cup Lakanto Monkfruit Powdered Sweetener 4 tablespoons butter 4 ounces Lakanto Monkfruit Chocolate Chips 3 cups of the homemade sugar-free whipped topping
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a deep dish 9” pie plate. Crush pecans, then add the butter and sweetener and mix well. Press crust into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a pie plate. Bake for 10-12 min then remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. While your crust is baking, add 3 cups heavy whipping cream and sweetener to a bowl and beat for approx. five minutes or until stiff peaks form, and it has doubled in size. In another bowl, add softened cream cheese, cocoa powder, sweetener, and beat until combined. In a small glass bowl, add your sugar-free chips, and butter. Microwave for 25 seconds, then stir. Microwave again for 10-15 seconds and stir. The chocolate mixture should completely melt and begin to smooth as you stir. If not, you can microwave for another 5 seconds but do not over-heat as the chocolate will seize. Add the melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture and stir. Add 3 cups of the homemade whipped cream to the bowl and FOLD the whipped cream gently into the mixture until just combined. Spoon chocolate filling into your pecan pie crust. Top with the remaining homemade whipped cream and level it out. Garnish with crushed pecans or shaved chocolate shavings from any sugar-free chocolate bar. (optional) Freeze for at least an hour before cutting.
Jan/Feb 2021 38
It’s a New Year! step out of your comfort zone with these bold flavor combos Mango Balsamic + Tahitian Lime EVOO Perfect for Salads and Fish!
Pineapple balsamic + Sicillian lemon Evoo Use for Salads and Rice Dishes
time for a
Toasted Sesame Evoo + Tangy Tangerine Balsamic Amazing on Chicken and Roasted Veggies
Bacon wrapped jalapeños kitchen: Heather niccoli I finally had the courage to make these for Tony and I and we have been missing out! You are sure to enjoy this tasty, spicy snack!
4 oz cream cheese, softened ¼ cup shredded cheese (I like cheddar) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp onion powder salt + pepper to taste 12 jalapeños- larger the better 12 slices bacon, halved Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, cheese and seasonings. Halve jalapeños lengthwise, removing seeds completely for a mild taste. Fill with cream cheese spread and wrap a piece of thin bacon around it. Arrange them on a baking sheet and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
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Keto Clam Chowder Since I’ve been eating “Code Red” for over a year now, the thing I’ve missed most is clam chowder! After a lot of trial and error, I’ve come up with this recipe that I think is pretty dang good. If you like a strong seafood taste, I recommend doubling the clams or shrimp. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have! Tip: all seasonings- add to taste!
ingredients 32 oz chicken stock 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 stick of butter 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp ground thyme 2 tbl dill 1 tbl Old Bay Seasoning 1 tsp Xanthan Gum (optional) 2 medium rutabagas, diced ½ onion, diced 2 stalks green onion, diced 4 stalks celery, diced 3 baby carrots, shredded 3 10 oz cans minced clams 10 large shrimp, cooked and diced (optional)
directions In a large pot, combine stock, rutabagas and seasonings. Bring to a boil for about 20 minutes. Reduce heat and add onion, green onion, celery and shredded carrot. Add butter and cream. Stir for another 20 minutes on medium heat. Add in clams and diced shrimp and reduce to low heat. Let simmer for an hour. If you wish to have a thicker chowder, add 1 tsp Xanthan Gum to thicken. Enjoy!
Kitchen: Heather Niccoli
Bread Baking Part 2
Simple, Not Easy By Virginia Colvig I finally remembered when my senses awoke to the joy of fresh baked bread. It was watching my older sister, Ann, create beautiful Swedish Tea Rings. The trick, she told me, is to double the filling recipe. My own baking journey began when my big sis left for college. I soon abandoned tea rings, though. Mine were never quite as beautiful as hers, but I’ve always remembered to double the filling. My cinnamon rolls, with twice the gooey middle of butter, sugar and cinnamon are definite crowd-pleasers. Unfortunately, they are mostly just nutritionally empty treats for special occasions, not unlike a story Ann relished telling her pesky little sister. “It was a dark and stormy night” She’d begin ominously, “and the captain said to Antonio, ‘Antonio tell us a tale’, so Antonio told us a tale. It was a dark and stormy night and the Captain said to Antonio, ‘Antonio tell us a tale’ ….” That’s it. Can’t tell you how many times I got sucked into this repetitive tale with no substance. In a similar way white bread offers sensory gratification, like a simplistic narrative that draws one in, but lacks the substance and complexity of true wholeness.
Whole grains, like respectful, more complex interactions, take work, but offer more substantial benefits. It’s easier to break down wheat. The hard outer bran layer contains minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals. The middle ‘endosperm’ layer, the only part used in refined white flours includes carbohydrates and protein. The inner germ, that spark of new life, holds vitamins, minerals, a bit of healthy fat, and phytochemicals. A graph from “Oldways Whole Grains Council www. wholegrainscouncil.org” uses data from the “USDA Agricultural Research Service FoodData Central, (2019)” to show the difference between whole and white flour. The nutritional value of the carb heavy endosperm part of wheat is shown in orange. Enriched flour, shown in yellow, does have a few added vitamins, but lacks the balance of the whole grain, shown in green. It looks simple, but that doesn’t make whole grain easy to incorporate into family baking. Challenges include that bit of oil in the germ, the part with vitamin E, which does not stay fresh after milling quite as long. In addition, whole wheat has proportionally less gluten, the protein that stretches, captures gas produced by yeast and makes bread rise. This leads to more dense, less fluffy results. Commercial whole grain breads often add extra gluten. I’ve done that, too. It’s an easy fix for a problem people didn’t know they had until white bread came along. Finally, there’s that dry crumbly bread problem. I’m not talking about day old bread here. Homemade bread does get stale faster than preservative laden store bought. Solutions for that abound; eat the bread quickly, slice and freeze a cooled loaf for later, make French toast…, the list goes on. But when I talk about dry and crumbly, I’m talking about the outer bran layer. Bran poses a different level of challenge. It may grind into soft fluffy flour like everything else, but that hard outer coating still retains a flakey quality. Good for fiber. Not so good for texture. Bran can turn even the freshest loaf of bread dry and crumbly. That problem required more than exploration. Even recipe books held no answer. I needed help. Fortunately, we moved to the small town of Albion during our second year of marriage. Back then, the still new feminist movement pushed young women, such as myself, to take up paying work, outside the home. But who would learn and pass on the old ways? I wondered. That before YouTube. Instead, I learned from the elder women of Albion who willingly shared a piece of themselves; a bit of time, an example, a story, and, believe it or not, even some advice! Win Elwood was one of my favorite personalities. She never judged or tried to fix. Instead, this cheerful, giving, interesting, woman nurtured growth. Her touch on my life continues every time I bake with whole grains, because it was Win who offered me the solution for dry crumbly bread.
“Do you use a sponge?” she asked. I knew she meant that mushy first rising of the dough, before all the flour, the salt, and oil are added, and nodded. “Try adding whole grain flour first, let it soak in the sponge stage before adding the rest of the flour.” A simple solution. And it works! Bran, when given the opportunity, soaks up water. Ultimately the dough uses less flour, and thus the final product retains more moisture. Simple. But it’s easier to skip the sponge. Many recent recipes do just that. When it comes to whole grains, though, easiest is not best. Thanks to Win, and changing this one step, I began to produce moist and tasty rather than dry and crumbly loaves. Now, when using whole grains, I always dissolve yeast in the warmed liquid (no more than 110 degrees) add a little yeast food (some form of sugar), then stir in whole grains to make a soft “sponge” rather than a full out kneadable dough. The sponge rises, and bubbles appear in a way that explains the name for this stage. The dough in this image is all whole wheat, with a little leftover oatmeal from breakfast. The color seems light because the flour is made from hard white wheat, rather than the standard hard red normally associated with whole wheat bread. I stirred this concoction down a few times before adding salt, oil and the remaining flour needed for kneading. The sponge actually thickens up as the bran soaks in water, so the dough requires a little less flour overall. Most importantly, baked loaves turn out far moister and more flavorful. Not easy like white flour bread, but full of healthy, tasty, substance. A complete and healthy sensory experience that draws people in. The aroma of a ripe wheat field wafts through the house. An open oven door releases its warmth. A knuckle knocks on the crusty loaf, and a hollow sound announces that the bread is done. The household draws near. Knives and plates magically appear in outstretched hands. The peanut butter jar opens, and milk pours, too. The first loaf disappears quickly, with only one small argument about who gets the crust. Friends and extended family gathered happily around good fresh whole food may be just a dream in the present moment. But now, in this present moment, dreams of wholeness and health seem very much worth working toward and holding onto. Happy New Year to you all!
Images courtsey of: Oldways Whole Grains Council, www. wholegrainscouncil.org”. Data from USDA Agricultural Research Service FoodData Central, (2019)”.
Jan/Feb 2021 47
Home & Harvest Tarot Reading What love message do you need?
Tarot and oracle cards are used to answer all sorts of questions, even questions of the heart. Love is a huge topic, with lots of subtleties that can make it difficult to navigate sometime. From the way we love our children through their heartbreaks to the way we love our parents through theirs, to the ways we celebrate new love with a new partner or renewed love with the same old one – love is a big, bold, many faceted thing! This month, let’s look at these three cards to see what message about love they have. The oracle deck I’ve used this time is called A Yogic Path, by Sahara Rose. Just like love has meaning in our lives with our spouses, children, friends, and pets – so many things, this deck navigates many different aspects of life, including yoga and Ayurveda, Hindu spirituality and deities, and the chakras. If you haven’t already, look at the cards, close your eyes if you want, and take a few deep breaths – and choose a card.
Shiva, the Hindu deity pictured on the first card, is the god of destruction and rebirth, which might seem like an odd one to turn up when talking about love. Breathe it in for a minute, though. The story of Shiva is that once he became enlightened, he danced with animated movements in joy and celebration until he moved past the physical realm and became completely still. Many thought he’d lost his mind, but a few students were intrigued and wanted to know more about the transformation he’d undergone. This is how Shiva became the first yogi, teaching his students yoga. This card is about pushing past the limits we perceive in our lives from society, as well as our ego, body, and mind. This ‘pushing past’ is what inner work is all about. It’s looking at the stories we tell ourselves and, if they’re not true any longer, rewriting them. It’s considering what blocks we perceive are holding us back from loving the way we want to, and creatively contemplating ways to remove them, work around them, or completely take a different path. This is the message of Shiva. In doing the inner work that allows us to move beyond limits, you will need to be taking apart or clearing or breaking up something in order to evolve into something else. The smallest seeds, as they grow and push through the earth to sprout, destroy the ground’s smooth surface, but then become something like a flower or a vegetable or tree. This is what could happen in your life too. When it does, part of Shiva’s message to you is to share your new wisdom with others. The circle of life is all about learning, growing, and teaching others. This pattern is part of what creates a gracious and loving heart within you. Radha seems more immediately fitting for this topic as the goddess of passionate love and longing. Her energy is that of new-love butterflies and excitement in anticipation. Her message is that if you’re not already experiencing this thrilling, blissful, deep surrender kind of love - it’s on it’s way! It’s okay to be excited or nervous or just over-the-top joyous! That desire is what Radha is all about. She is about the energy exchange when you dance closely with your partner or the way you can gaze lovingly and longingly at one another in anticipation of being together. Radha is a little more than all this in the Hindu faith. She is the feminine aspect of God. She is the power behind Krishna. In many Christian religions, the role of women isn’t highlighted so incredibly. Here, though, Radha brings passion and ecstasy together with all what is sacred. She calls to you to feel the divine nature of pure love as well. Sattva, a term from Ayurveda, refers to purity and clarity. The word Ayurveda translates to ‘the knowledge of life’ and refers to the mind-body connection that can allow us to reach complete mental and physical health. This is a lovely message to receive when talking about love. The idea of sattva is that as you clean up areas of your life, you’ll find that you have more clarity about all areas. As you release things that no longer serve your best self, you’ll experience the purity that comes with it and it will carry over into all the aspects of your life. Maybe you’ve already noticed this by cleaning out a closet and recognizing that you have more energy to put into meal planning and the kids don’t seem so annoying. Or maybe cutting back hours at work (or having them cut back by Covid) provided you more space to play games with your children and even read a book just for you! In terms of love, the less messy your life is - diet, home, friendships, job, thought patterns, and all - the more clear you’ll be about who you want to love and how to want to love them. It may not seem like it’s all connected, but it is! In fact, you might find that if you’ve become increasingly frustrated with your children of partner or parents during this pandemic, rather than focusing on fixing those relationships, you can put your energy into attending to your physical activity, simplifying your home (removing excess that you don’t need or want), and/or cooking really delicious, nourishing food and, without trying, your relationships will begin to change. Hopefully, Shiva, Radha, and sattva are three cards that can get your wheels turning about how you want to express your love for yourself, your lover, your children, your friends, your family. The people and ways we love are many. May you find inner work, feminine divine expression, and purity bring you the messages you need to find your perfectly ‘you’ way to love those whom you do.
Jan/Feb 2021 49
fountain by diane conroy
John and Mary Lorang of Genesee, Idaho traveled to Europe and the Middle East in 1910 and you’ll find this story in the last issue of “Home and Harvest” magazine. Upon returning from an incredible 6 month trip, John’s life on this Palouse homestead was forever changed at the age of 52. First of all, John Lorang had seem some beautiful fountains during this trip. On the homestead site in Genesee, there was a perennial spring almost ¾ of a mile away from the farmhouse, around the bend in the southern fields. It was only slightly elevated from the homesite, but this didn’t deter John. On May 18, 1911, seven months after arriving home, John and his son Henry began to dig an aqueduct. They dug out the spring for 2 weeks with Henry doing most of the work. Henry worked hard, but was very proud of this project, naming the Spring after his current girlfriend, Crystal. On June 1, they began laying 1¼ inch pipeline trying to reach the big 1898 barn and the calf barn. They almost made the ½ mile route in 2 days; on June 3rd they were in the calf pasture. Little Charles and Viola Lorang, John and Mary’s youngest scampered over to see what was going on and John captured the photos of the amazed children. John went on to use a scraper to fill the ditch and cover the pipe, then on June 12 he finished a concrete and bricked dome over the Crystal Spring. After a break for summer work, on June 21, they started digging again, getting the water to pipe inside the barn. He now had water for the big barn and the calf barn and by June 28th had built a cement water trough in the pasture. After the Harvest work with barley, wheat, Timothy hay, selling hogs and working more on the ditch; on Sept. 29, 1911 the journal reads, “at 5:10 p.m. the wather was turned on to runn through the house for the first time.”
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Two years later it ran through his own handmade fountain. Oct. 31, 1913, John enters in his journal that he has finished the lower basin of his fountain. On Nov. 14, he has finished the middle tier and on Thanksgiving of 1913; John finished the upper tier of a 3-tiered fountain and placed a statue of a small boy with an umbrella at the top. Using wooden forms (that we still have, as well as his trowel), he impressed designs and his name and date in the sides. The water flowed almost ¾ mile, all the way from the Crystal Spring to 5 ft. above the statue. There are many, many stories and photos that go along with this beautiful fountain. In 1914, Gov. Moses Alexander and his family visited John and was photographed with the fountain in the background. In 1918, Mary and John Lorang’s 2 little grandchildren were playing in the fountain, just like they were NOT supposed to. The children slipped on the muddy bottom and were drenched in the water. They hurriedly ran into the woods, hoping that no one would discover them. But unbeknownst to the little girls, one being Bea Lorang who remembered; Grandma Mary Lorang had been watching them from the farmhouse window all along. She went outside with a smirk on her face and waited for the girls to come out of the woods. Finally, they traipsed out; dripping wet and very sorry looking. But Mary couldn’t help laughing and all was forgiven. Bea Lorang Jacobs added this sweet story to her journal years later. In the 1980’s, young Brad Lorang, a great grandson, decided to try to save the statue of the Little boy with the umbrella. He brought it home and made a mold of the deteriorating pot metal boy. Almost 40 years later, in 2019, Brad Lorang was now an accomplished bronze sculptor and recreated a statue for us to restore the 1913 fountain. It is now fully restored and running. John was also becoming an avid photographer, taking photos of all his escapades with this 1911 aqueduct and 1913 fountain. Then in 1914, John began to try to shape saplings in his woods and make artistic chairs. He succeeded very well, while recording them in his journals. One of his letters reads, “Last winter I made a high chair for Albert’s Babby (the first grandchild) of four different kinds of wood inlayd, they ar all relics of an old house in the old country, from Wisconsin and Jerusalem. Then I made an arm-chair out of one apple tree for my self and it just fits me. Ther ar both better then I expect theam to be…..this high-chair I made for Ida Marie Lorang...is constructed of four different kinds of wood grown by myself, and those little blocks inlayd in the back of the chair, they ar relics. The first on to the left is a peace of oak-wood from the log house that I was raised in. The next is a peace of oakwood from the house-door of the house that my mother was born and raised in Germany. The middle one is a block of olive-wood from Jerusalem. The next one is a block of oakwood from the ruins off the house that Grandma Gesellchen was born in, and the last one is a peace of oak-wood from the first wagon I ever owned. The old wagon that I bought second-handed from Gregor Boscheer in March 1884 when we came to this country.
The wagon is now 39 years in actual use, and it being the first conveyance I ever owned, and which also had to take the place of a spring-wagon for the first 9 years in this country. (still to be found in the pasture) The inlayed border around those blocks is red-cedar-wood from Johnsburg, Wis. which I obtained when we stopped off there in September 1910 on our way home from our trip abroad. The legs and armrests are made of ash-wood grown from seeds I obtained from my old home in Wisconsin and planted them in 1890. The spokes are made and also table of apple-wood. The footrest is made of cherry-wood, originated from my old home in Wisconsin. A sprout of a cherry-tree that my Father planted some 50 years ago, was sent to me in 1896 and I planted it here in our orchard, and last winter I have taken a fraction there from for the footrest. The two little pins supporting the footrest ar relics from the first apple-tree that my Father planted in the country. As my Parents came from the old country, and settled in Wisconsin on a farm, they were extremely poor, and while Father was clearing off the timber for a little field on their new timbered homestead, Mother was obliged to go out sewing for other people to earn a living for the Family. And one day she was working for a man by the name Bell who had a little nursery of fruit trees, and Mr. Bell urged Mother to take for her work a few apple-trees to plant on there new homestead, and so she bought four at 10 cents each, where were planted then by Father. And when I was back there to visit the old homestead once more in March 1897, I saw one of those trees, one half of it alife yet, so I cut me a few cuttings there from to graft on one of our apple-trees, which was done by Mr. old man Binkard, and it grew fine for about two years, when the butt of the tree was dying. And so in order to save the relic I again cut off some cuttings and grafted them my self on an-other little sprout that came up from an-other apple-tree in the orchard, of which I now have cut a limb to make these two little pins out of. I also fixed up the workshop with 2 more windows.â€? How could we ask for any more detail? Just to be sure though, John carved part of the story on the bottom of each chair. These journals, letters and stories handed down describe the life and times of the John and Mary Lorang family, their children, their grandchildren and everything that went on here for over 140 years. Hopefully, this pandemic will end sometime, but until then you can visit this homestead anytime at www.WhiteSpringRanch.org and on Facebook and we are still open for small bubbles of visitors. Happy New Year all! Hereâ€™s hoping for a better 2021.
“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” -C.S.Lewis With 2020 now in the rear-view mirror, it makes me feel like I was in the cast of that TV show called “Survivors” along with you and the other 7,800,000,000 people on this earth. That we were all on our own remote island and tacking situations that were unimaginable pre-COVID. Having almost a whole year under our belts, we know now that we have what it takes to survive and thrive. This is how I imagine my grandparents must have also felt after the Depression. They and now us have emerged a bit tattered but stronger with an appreciation of life and what is important. I realize it will be probably mid-summer by the time life should feel normal, but I swear I will never take for granted everyday casual social interactions with others. A new year, new hopes, goals and I’m excited; and I know you are too. Maybe this is when you and I make that leap of faith and start doing things on our bucket list. If not now, when? I learned at a young adult age, that I didn’t want to live a life of “what ifs”, and I can honestly say most of the time my decisions (certainly by the grace of God) have turned out pretty well, but sometimes they didn’t and they ended up learning opportunities for this somewhat impulsive country girl. Either way, I learned that you never know if something will work if you don’t try. The story behind that lesson came when I was just out of high school with no real plan for life other than putting one foot in front of the other. I had been working at a local grocery store since I was sixteen and one day, I decided I needed clerical experience and start moving forward with life. And with that I talked my way into getting an office job at a small business that consisted of about 4 or 5 men and me. During the workday, I mostly stayed in the office, but occasionally I would join the guys for their coffee break and listen to their chit-chat, which mostly entailed stories of hunting and fishing. And there was this one man named Jim. We all know our version of a “Jim” - the kind of guy who is genuinely nice, a quiet sort of person who just goes about his day being a hardworking, humble man just trying to support his wife and family. That was Jim. He rarely spoke about his personal life, and when he did speak, it was usually about his love of outdoor recreational pursuits. But one day he shared his wife had filed for divorce and was going to start her new life with someone else. Jim never said anything negative about the whole situation (another admirable trait), he just went about his day, and would comment on how he would someday love to go live in Alaska. Finally, a co-worker said to Jim, “well you are single now, there is nothing to keep you from moving, so what is stopping you?” I’ll never forget the look on Jim’s face as it suddenly dawned on him, he had the power to do just that. Within a couple of months, Jim moved to Alaska. It was then that I realized the only person stopping you from working towards a goal is you - if you let it.
Jan/Feb 2021 59
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And that has been my catalyst for trying not to live a life of “what ifs”. When I have been faced with a decision of maybe taking a different job or some other situation that life presents, I’ll weigh it in my mind and think is this a “what if ” situation? Am I okay to stay where I am? Or do I need to move on to whatever the new opportunity is in front of me so I’m not left wondering … what if? I’ll admit there were times I should have weighed the outcomes a bit more and not been so rash. But for the most part, both professionally and personally, it has been an incredible journey so far. My work off-the-farm has led me to working in almost every industry, which has been holding somewhat high profile positions in the legal field, my family’s manufacturing plant, I was part-owner of a small dinner and catering business (sort of like Papa Murphy’s), the medical field and now academia. And while I loved learning all the technical aspects of each industry, the most valuable lessons and experiences came from the people I’ve associated with. And I am excited to say, my journey working for others is drawing to an end, wherein I will officially retire the end of March. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this next chapter called retirement. Knowing myself, it’s best if I have some structure and a focus, so I have decided to become a content and copywriter to pursue my passion for writing and try out yet another new industry. My main focus will be on my two loves – food (cooking) and agriculture. It just seems like a natural fit, plus it will keep me from running amuck and annoying Rod, my family and neighbors. And when not writing, Rod and I are having a new barn built and that in itself is a whole other adventure, which again, ideas are swirling around. And as the new year is being ushered in on the wings of hope and gratitude, maybe this is your cue to determine if there is something more out there that you need to do, be or find. A clean slate for a new (insert your dreams here). So go be like “Jim” and get out of your own way, go move that mountain, no more “what ifs”! You can do it. And I would truly love to hear what you are doing or what goal you are pursuing, so drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. All my best, Gayle
A Real, Live
By Joe Evans
A real surprise in my life was my fourth born daughter, her arrival was quite unexpected! It also seems my wife and I were not the only family in our Tribe to have an unexpected arrival. Several relatives were also so blessed with a new baby at about the same time in an unexpected fashion. About a year before these surprise arrivals it so happens my mother-in-law died unexpectedly, some type of coincidence? I don’t think so. I have just enough Nez Perce Indian blood in me to believe that my mother-in-law was responsible for these births. It’s something that someone with my bloodline accepts, go with the flow, and not be surprised! Part of nature at any rate, this new arrival we named Heidi had three older sisters to help raise her and spoil her rotten. Parenting was quite easy with all this help. Her older sisters were quite good in teaching her the basics in life including the fact that daddy was the ultimate sucker. As with the other girls, every time Heidi and I went to the local grocery store or stop-and-rob, she would say, “Mommy always buys us candy,” while giving a dreamy, pleading look at me. Absolutely no way this request could be denied. In these younger years of hers the Care Bears were very popular on TV. Heidi was very impressed with the Care Bears and stated, “When I grow up I want to be a Care Bear.” Heidi did exactly that. She has a kind, generous personality and fits any Care Bear description to a T. Heidi played the clarinet and saxaphone for a while but like her sister Heather Niccoli, her vocal chords are her preferred instrument. A number of years ago when Heidi and Heather lived in Spokane, they would hit the bar scene and wow the customers with their talent. I don’t know where their singing talent came from, but it certainly was not me! I can only wish Heidi would sing more. Heidi did not really do much hunting with me but she does love to camp and fish. She and her family go out as much as their busy schedules permit. Her family consists of her, her husband and two lovely daughters. Her daughters could not possibly have a better mother. Heidi received a higher education degree and has been heavily involved in a number of business endeavors in her career. I will say this – she has an absolutely great way of dealing with the public. Heidi did not show much interest in hunting but a gleam comes into her eye when she picks up a shotgun and calls “pull” at the trap range. We have a lot of friendly competition and she can more than hold her own. Formidable shooter now, her ability to be world class will come when she is able to devote more time to the sport. In closing, I am proud of my daughter Heidi – the quintessential Care Bear. In fact, she sets a good example for the Care Bears. I hope you all have enjoyed my venture into something beyond my typical reloading and hunting stories, I know I’ve enjoyed writing them. Stay tuned for something a little more classic for the next issue!
by Temple Kinyon I’m sitting in my cozy living room, the halls, walls, and every surface decked in Christmas attire. It’s my most favorite time of year, and anyone who knows me, knows I go all out starting in November. Yep, I’m that person who loves the holiday decorations in the stores before Halloween and who listens to Christmas tunes all year long. At this point (mid-December), I am writing my article for my favorite magazine, Home & Harvest, and in the midst of baking cookies, crafting candy, and deciding if we should only use cashews for the Chex Mix or fancy mixed nuts. However, by the time you read this, it will all be over, another Christmas past, another fresh New Year ahead—a time of reflection. But reflecting back over 2020 doesn’t just give me pause; it takes several long moments for me to try to wrap my brain around it. I still can’t. I wonder who can? I suppose there are people living in areas that COVID-19 didn’t slam into; a Google search reveals that only eleven small countries have reported zero cases. One of those is suspect, however: North Korea. Regardless, not many folks on the entire planet haven’t had some sort of interaction with the ‘Rona Beast. We’re all still “dealing” with it in one way or another. When the country decided to shut down this spring, it didn’t seem real to me. It was like I was in some sort of sci-fi movie; I waited for Stephen King to Tweet that it was all just a big joke—a movie script we all unknowingly played a part. As the days started to merge into weeks, the thought of being in a real-world, excruciatingly long episode of Punked faded into drudgery and disbelief. COVID persisted, and we “pivoted” into a “new normal.”
Nothing hit the pit of my stomach like witnessing The Las Vegas Strip mega casino/resorts sitting dark. And dark means dark. Only a few neon signs and monster marquees lit up with messages to “be safe” and “stay home.” The Paris lit up their Eiffel Tower in red, white, and blue. But there were no crowds, no noise, only a few cars filled with slack-jawed gawkers like my husband and me, all driving down the famous Boulevard witnessing history. Most, if not all, of the casinos had never been closed since the day they opened. Vegas is open all day, all night, every day, every month, every year. I don’t even know if casino entrance doors have locks on them because they’re always open for business. Eerie doesn’t even begin to describe the whole scene. It left me feeling dark. A good friend urged me to write down my thoughts and observations to record this historical time. I tried. I took pictures of The Strip, wrote in my journal, interviewed a few friends and family. But within a short time, my creativity came to a screeching halt. I seized up. My brain darted in twenty different directions. Focus eluded me, words teased me, and I couldn’t finish anything, let alone a thought about what our world faced. I failed the test of writing a monumental tome about “When The World Shut Down” or “The Night The Lights Went Out In Vegas.” I couldn’t even write a comprehensive grocery list because of the uncertainty of getting into the grocery store in the first place or finding the basics when I finally got in there. Some silver linings sparkled through, though. My husband makes toilet paper. Yes, you read that right. He works for Clearwater Paper, and his job escalated to the top of the “Essential Jobs” list. We weren’t faced with a financial crisis like so many. As a freelance writer, I work from home, so my days didn’t change a lot. I lost all of my signings but one, however (thank you, University of Idaho VandalStore!). You might think I took the time to write and write. But my head wasn’t in the game, and I fumbled around. That’s the funny thing about writer’s block; you write, but what you write is crap. But then I met Otis. The sweet, mischievous boy living on a farm with his family during the 1970s took root in my writer’s heart before COVID became the only thing anyone could talk about. He’d been dancing around in the shadows of my creative mind for a while. His antics and lessons blipped here and there for several months in 2019, but I mostly ignored him because I was in the throes of enjoying the glow from publishing my book, The Button Boxes. School visits, signings, podcasts, I was living my dream. But Otis wouldn’t go away. He showed me his stories in flashes, like going through old slides, one moment at a time. Then his tug at my nostalgic self became a full-on shove. I finally paid attention to the little goofball. I wrote his first story for the March/April issue of Home & Harvest, just as we all were bombarded with COVID headlines 24/7.
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It felt good to share Otis with you. But it was hard to write that first story; my mind kept pinging in a dozen different directions; even Otis couldn’t get me completely out of my funk. When I wrote the article “Give It a Shot” for the May/June H&H issue, that sparked my interest because I interviewed my parents, in-laws, and sister about pandemics, viruses, and vaccines. I learned a lot about the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. But again, finding the concrete thoughts and right words was a struggle. And as COVID hung on to our world, it crowded my thoughts. Suddenly, Otis faded into those far off dark recesses again, and I couldn’t quite get him to come out and play. Otis wasn’t the only one far off; family and friends were only texts, emails, Zooms, and cards in the mail. A normally simple trip to Idaho to visit family and friends seemed like a battle between life and death; would we bring COVID with us and infect everyone? Would stopping at the gas stations or a hotel between here and there cost us our health? Or the lives of loved ones? I know I wasn’t the only person who worried about those things because the world slowed down—people did stay home. And it was spooky. A second trip down Las Vegas Blvd. showcased the still-dark casino/resorts and also something unusual…something positive. People were actually riding their bikes on the Blvd. That’s unheard of normally due to the throngs of traffic. Even families of ducks and geese waddled their way down the sidewalk AND the Blvd., taking the place of human tourists. Again, a few silver linings sparkled through. And it wasn’t like I was really alone. I had my husband, Pippa (our princess bulldog), and various “Important” Zoom meetings with colleagues (a.k.a. friends and family). But I missed “normal.” I missed in-person gatherings, writing at coffee shops, and sporting events. And I missed Otis. He’d become so much more than just a character I conjured up; he was my escape. But another funny thing about writer’s block, when it finally craps out and the block breaks, the words flow like hot butter over popcorn. Otis came back. He roared into my creative soul in early summer, like clicking on the burner to the gas stove, the purplish-blue flame bursting to life. Otis ignited me, finally, and when the world seemed so grey and uncertain, all I had to do was ask Otis for a story, and he gleefully shared, taking me into a warmer, softer, healthier world with laughter, shenanigans, adventure, and love. My wish is that Otis became a booster-shot of hope for you, too. Otis lives in a time where pandemics aren’t on a 24-hour news cycle. Otis has worries, but they come in small doses woven in with his antics. He wants to spring to life in the pages of this magnificent publication, maybe whispering-
-that he wants to be like Betsy McCall. Do you know who Betsy McCall was? When I was a kid, my mom received several magazine subscriptions, including McCalls. Nestled in the back of most issues awaited a surprise for my sister and me: a Betsy McCall paper doll and a story. We always poured over the story and shared the paper doll (yes, we did share, really). The thrill of flipping through the colorful pictures of fashion and food to see if Betsy graced the pages is still vivid to me, and probably why Otis came along. He nudged me to once again use words to create nostalgic scenes, some made up, some stolen from my “sources” of inspiration, but all perfectly Otis. The past month I’ve listened to Christmas music and watched enough holiday movies to last me several months (until Hallmark’s Christmas in July, of course), but for some reason, I keep specifically hearing one of my all-time favorite hymns, Oh, Holy Night, by John Sullivan Dwight. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard the lyrics sung by a variety of Yuletide crooners in my half-century of life, but for some reason this year, the lines “The thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices” keep catching my attention. They are speaking to me. No, wait, they are shouting at me. And again, like I did with Otis, I paid little attention to them all these years, but now I finally listened. Like the Grinch’s heart growing two sizes too big, those words fill me with warmth, comfort, and… hope. Now armed with the thrill of hope and Otis bouncing around in my head, I’m ready to face 2021 with new eyes and, out of my weariness, rejoice. Every single one of us now owns a COVID chapter in our life story. Almost every human on earth possesses that one thing in common. And regardless of where you live or what your politics, these stories will live on forever. Isn’t that something? Doesn’t that give you a thrill of hope? Aren’t you ready for the entire weary world to finally rejoice? It’s coming. Until then, I hope you find your own Otis, your own hope. But if you’re struggling, I’ll be happy to share my hope, my Otis, with you.
New Year, New You,
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