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I wanted to talk to you about something so special, something that at times I totally forget to do: act on and enjoy things that make you happy. As we get older, I feel our obligations and responsibilities mound, so the time for wonder, excitement, thrill or exploration seems to be put on the back burner. We stop looking for four-leaf clovers. We don’t dance when the music comes on. We worry if we fit in at work. Some of us endlessly diet. And some of us overindulge, not because it brings you joy- because it gives you a feeling of escape. I have been thinking about this a lot because I have been learning there’s such a difference to what you want to do verses what you should do and the affect it has on others. I can see so many examples in my life when I focused on the “shoulds,” like toning down my fashion or being quiet in a meeting when I had something to say. Like working harder instead of taking days off just to feel the sun on my face- heck- even enjoying a natural Saturday off! I was often forgetting the girl who always bought her ranunculus and primroses too early, even though they’d always inevitably be snowed on her porch. The girl who would wear the dresses in her closet- not caring if she got laughed at because there really isn’t a vintage scene in Moscow. The girl who loved karaoke, but never really went. The girl who loves peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, but never makes or dares eat them since she’s always dieting. That’s a lot of shoulding. I know I’m not alone in this. There’s nothing more special than getting to know someone- after dropping the professional façade, the small talk. That’s when you get to the good stuff. I’m talking second or third date information- when you actually eat the food, maybe put your feet up on the dashboard, relax enough to let your guard down completely. So why not do that with yourself? I guarantee you give your all to work, to life. But what about really living? And have you checked in with yourself lately? Do you even like what’s going on in your world? Your social media, your friends? Are you just on a routine? Or does everything legitimately make you happy? Are you living your life your way? The reason I am speaking of all of this is because I think we can do better for the world if we better ourselves first. All around me I see people judging each other. And what is judgment, exactly? Unhappiness. There’s not one person in this world that has the answers. They only hold their interpretation to what’s right or wrong, and that information is typically processed by a person who is either very happy, or dys-regulated. When you are living in the light of who you are and you are doing so happily, you find that you have less judgment toward yourself and others. So sometimes great change starts with something small. And in this case, bettering the world around you always begins with bettering yourself. You deserve to be happy, loved, and free of the shoulds. Maybe it starts with listening to Bon Jovi really loud when you clean the house. Maybe it means actually deleting your social media to give the real you some creative and true breathing room. Maybe it means closing the chapter on everything in your life you’re doing out of obligation and making more room for living freely. And when you do, watch what happens next. Suddenly, what others are or aren’t doing becomes less important. People’s lifestyles are theirs. You’ll know the difference because you’ll be happy- you won’t even be thinking of it anymore. You’ll wish people well. I swear, becoming a happier person has an endless ripple effect on the world. It’s lovely and it’s true and you deserve it. To make good on my word, I am going to finish up deadline and plant my retro terrarium. I’m going to eat a red pear- because something I’ve been wanting to do is buy a weird fruit every time I go to the store and that’s what I bought last time. I’m going to look at pink tiles and pink bathrooms for our retro-rehab because that’s what I want to do, not maybe what I or others think I should do. And I’m going to think of you, reading this. Maybe you’re in a waiting room. Maybe you’re enjoying a moment to yourself in your own home. I want you to know that I wish you a life lived full of love, happiness and acceptance of self and others. And I hope all around you, the arrival of spring brings you endless smiles. Even if it snows on your primroses. Because it snowed on your primroses. Thank you for reading this, for supporting my advertisers, for always striving to be better than we were yesterday.
Heather Niccoli Editor-In-Chief Home&Harvest Magazine
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10. Birdwatching for a Couch Potato 18. Sense of Urgency 22. People of the Palouse 26. Coming of Age 30. The Creation of Latah County 40. Smokin’ Good Burnt Butt 44. Carrot Dill Soup 46. Checkered Cookies 48. Spiced Chocolate Cake 50. Braided Easter Bread 52. Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars 54. Home&Harvest Tarot 56. Henry Lorang’s Turn To Travel 1918 64. You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out 68. The Oh, Otis! Shenanigans, Episode 5 74. The Roots of Sustainability
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Birdwatching for a couch potato
You know that old saying about not doing something just because everyone else is? What if it’s 48 million Americans and it’s something as simple as birdwatching? If that many people are going outside to look at birds, even though it seems like something that you aren’t necessarily into, maybe you should have a second look. The 48 million Americans per year statistic came from the US Fish and Wildlife Service – BEFORE Covid. Before we got stuck at home, before millions of people started looking for more isolated outdoor activities that respected social distancing, and before the birds – noticing the lack of humans – decided to really come out and put on a show. So now everyone has caught on, everyone is birdwatching, and I’m encouraging you to try something new! For Heather and I this has been an activity a long time in the making. We have talked about it for years but never really “found the time” to become full-fledged birders. We’ve always stayed more around the level of “casual birdwatcher.” Basically meaning, if an interesting bird crossed our path we would stop and look. You too? See, everyone is birdwatching. One of my all-time favorite sightings was a plastic lawn ornament that looked remarkably like a bald eagle. We were on our way out to Helmer, and there, just a few feet in from the side of the road, sitting in front of an old barn and a few disinterested horses, was an absolutely huge bald eagle. We drove by slowly and it didn’t even move as we stared. But it just looked too real to be some imitation, so after a little debate, we turned the truck around and went back. Second pass, even slower this time and it still didn’t move – or did it? We felt like the eyes had followed us, but the head seemed to be in the same position. It was getting eerie. We made another u-turn a little ways down the road and started back on our original route, still debating this eagle’s authenticity. No, we decided it was just too genuine and needed a closer examination so we pulled off the side of the road and got out to walk closer. Step by step, we inched our way closer, almost like villains in a cartoon doing an extra sneaky prowl. Thirty feet out and we could tell it wasn’t wood or plastic – those were real feathers! Some farmer had gone to a lot of trouble to make this bald eagle replica for their yard. Twenty feet out and we exchanged a questioning glace – I was almost certain I saw the head move a little. But we were way to close, it had to be a fake. Fifteen feet out and this bald eagle, a little taller than my hip, suddenly jerks its head and stares directly into my soul. At the same moment it spreads colossal wings and with three mighty flaps it was up in the air above our heads faster that I would have ever thought possible. A few more relaxed flaps of those enormous wings, and it began to circle on a little current, looking down on us from about thirty feet in the air.
Turns out this wasn’t some plastic lawn ornament. It was a bald eagle out enjoying an afternoon of people watching. As you can see, Heather and I aren’t exactly expert ornithologists. In fact, we barely even count as competent bird watchers. So if we can enjoy it, and laugh about eagle sightings years later, you can master the art of having fun looking at birds as well. There are a few ways you can do this. One, birding, is the active pursuit of as many birds as possible. Birders have the goal of getting as many sightings (or soundings) as possible, and checking names off a list. They will hunt for specific species, and travel near and far to get the most elusive types. If you’ve ever seen the movie “The Big Year” then you know just how crazy this can get. Active birders set yearly goals, and then operate in a single region, state, or nation territories, trying to score as many different species of birds as possible. I pictured us being a little like this when Heather and I decided to spend more time bird watching. Out in the field somewhere with a set of binoculars and a little note pad to record my finds. A trusty field manual at my side for identification. I even started studying up on basic identification and the major types of birds I could expect to see on the Palouse, and in the Panhandle region. That impulse first came when we ran into – almost literally – an owl. We were on a hike out in Phillips Farm shortly after my dad had passed away. We were on the heritage trail, at its deepest point in the woods, and just starting up the hill. Heather and I were simply holding hands and slowly strolling, and out of nowhere a huge owl swooped down directly in front of us. A few steps closer and we would have been able to reach out and touch it. The majestic bird followed along the path in front of us for about twenty yards, then crossed to the far side and perched in a tree – watching us as we walked pasted. From the large “ears” I was later able to determine that it was a Great Horned Owl, and a very lucky sighting for an afternoon walk. When I read that many cultures associate them with both wisdom and departed souls it really struck a chord with me and I wanted to learn more about them and their behavior. I remembered the basics that everyone learns in childhood, nocturnal behavior, great hunters, able to turn their heads all the way around, a “who” call that echoes through the woods, and a terror to mice everywhere. But learning more about the various species of owls and how to spot them in the field was much more in depth. Along with the classification facts I was taking the time to discover a lot more about their daily behavior, environmental dependence, food sources, and the differences between them. It got me temporarily hooked – not just on owls, but on learning all the birds. Is that even possible? With more than 10,000 species known, and more discovered all the time, I’m sure someone could manage it but just knowing them all would be an incredible feat. Let alone learning all about them as individuals and being able to spot them in the wild. But I quickly tired of this idea. I realized that I didn’t really care about keeping a list – I’ll always remember my favorite-
-sightings. And with a list, a second or third sighting of the same species might just not seem as thrilling. I know I’ve seen tons of hawks and eagles – in fact there are usually several hawks that circle above our yard every day – but if I took the time to record the exact types it might become less meaningful to me when I see them again somewhere else. Instead I decided to focus on the uniqueness of each time I spot a bird, and to really take the time to study their behavior. So at this point, I can tell a crow from pigeon, I can tell an owl from quail, and I have a 50% chance of telling a fake bald eagle from a real one. I’ve decided that this is enough for now. I’m back in the field with binoculars, enthusiasm, and a renewed sense of wonderment. We just never set out with the expectation of birdwatching. It’s simply a hike, or we are just out for a picnic. It really changes the expectation, and that seems to lead to a lot more enjoyment. Sighting some interesting bird – or any wildlife – isn’t a completion of a task, and conversely, getting skunked isn’t a letdown. As long as the hike was good, the time wasn’t wasted. And when you do get treated with something awe inspiring, it’s all that much more exciting and rewarding. My dad, an avid fly fisher, used to say “they call it fishing – not catching.” And now I’m working on applying that outlook. If you set out expecting to land some fish (or a new bird you haven’t seen before) it hurts when you come up empty. But if your goal all along was to enjoy the process – the act of hunting and not the measure of attainment – then you always get rewarded with exactly what you wanted. And, on some special days, you get a lot more than you expected. With that in mind, we have still been birdwatching in a sense, we just wouldn’t really call it that. Walks in the arboretum, hikes at Idler’s Rest, even bike rides, have all become opportunities to accidently run into some captivating avian delights. It’s not the icing on the cake – it’s the second piece of cake instead.
I’ve also really started to look at the birds in our yard and study them as individuals. There is a large regular group of what I think are finches that dart about the front yard most mornings looking for breakfast. I’ve gotten to know that there is one really bossy one that likes to suddenly dash from one side of the yard to the other, always flapping frantically on the descent, and coming down in the very center of a gathering of five or six other birds, sending them all skittering away. As soon as they disperse, the foreman returns to his work on the other side of the lawn, poking about for a worm. But when that gaggle has a chance to regroup, and get to chatting more than hunting, he’s on the wing again coming in for a jarring disruption to their conference. In the space of one cup of coffee I usually get to see this play out at least four or five times. On the far side of the yard, near the boss-bird, there is a different species making a nest in our pine tree.
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With a beak full of twigs and bits of dried grass or straw, it hops around the base of the tree, keeping a careful eye on the flock of finches. Once everything seems to be in order, or perhaps after this bird is sure that it isn’t being followed, it always takes one of three different paths up and into the tree. Hopping, then flying from branch to branch in the same patterns, and ducking into the tree at the same spots. Patient as I am, I never get to see it leave – only return – so I imagine it must have a similar process to exit on the opposite side of the tree that faces out to the street. This one has an orange chest and grey feathers and is a little larger than the others. I’m assuming it’s a robin of some type but I can’t be bothered to check. I’ve found more joy in studying its individual personality and having my coffee. A bird book would just unnecessarily complicate our relationship. In our back yard, it’s not uncommon for a crow to land on high perch and take a little survey of the scene below. As I said before, we have daily hawks that circle above in route to their next meal. We hear an owl on rare nights, and once we saw two bald eagles – one taking laps around our block, and the other perched high in the next-door neighbor’s tree. After about ten minutes, they took off together headed to the southwest, they must have had dinner plans elsewhere. Or maybe they were just looking for a new home. What I have found most enjoyable isn’t trying to classify everything I see, or reading someone else’s analysis of their expected behavior and habits. I like to just watch them come and go and try to see the patterns for myself. To watch their interactions with other birds. To notice that not one of them is afraid of our cat (admittedly she is always more interested in eating a little grass than paying any attention to the yard full of birds). I like to discover the way they differentiate their own flock members from outsiders of a different species. And I love to watch nests being built, or our two little bird houses being re-occupied. There is a family of quails – with their whimsical deedily-boopers bobbing on their heads as they skitter about. You see, this is life without the bird book in hand. I’m sure someone else would have a technical analysis of the importance of that head ornamentation, along with a scientific name and evolutionary elucidation. But I’m happy enough to just go on calling it a deedily-booper, and assuming that its either so they can tell exactly who is in the their family and who isn’t, or it’s just like some big sparkly earrings, or a meticulously styled pompadour, and it’s only real function is making sure you get noticed by the quail you noticed yourself. Last year we were tickled to view little family crossings, with the larger momma quail hoping out from some juniper bushes and giving our road careful inspection, before leading a train of adorable baby birds across the street to visit the neighbor’s fountain. As she gained speed, the line would stretch out behind her, then when she came to an abrupt stop on the other side, they would compact, almost colliding with siblings in their hurry. No one wants to be left behind when a fun outing is planned, especially not a baby quail.
I do still have a bird book, and I will from time to time have a look at a particular species. But now I reserve that for after I feel that I’ve gotten to know them on my own. Just a little filler and background info to go along with all that I’ve discovered in person. And for me that is proving to be the most rewarding path to birdwatching. Again, there are many ways to enjoy it, and yours might be a bit more researched or a more active approach, but for me a clear favorite has emerged. And that brings me to the cheeseburger. No, this isn’t a cross over from my normal Flank to Flame articles about grilling (but that does give me a great idea for next issue). The cheeseburger I’m referring to is a bird that we often hear in the mornings, but still haven’t identified. Maybe you know the one. It has a beautiful three-syllable call that almost sounds like someone shouting “cheeseburger” from a perch somewhere high in a tree behind our house. It’s often one of the first calls we hear in the morning – some days even serving as an alarm clock. And on occasion we get a few calls later in the day. But for the most part, Mr. or Mrs. Cheeseburger is a morning crooner. Later being overlapped and then altogether replaced by the cacophony of other calls. “Cheeseburger” it wails, reminding me that every day is a good day for grilling. “Cheeseburger!” But I haven’t gone scouting for it. At some point, I’m sure I’ll inadvertently catch this little rascal in the act. For now, it gets to maintain its anonymity and mysteriously continue its routine. In writing this article I was tempted to finally look it up – I’m only a quick Google search away, just as you are now as well. But I decided against it, even in the face of being so utterly uninformed in the middle of an article about birds. Or at least, an article about my interactions and musings about birds. But one of the things I did learn while looking into the differences in approaches to bird watching was a great anecdote about Henry David Thoreau. Despite being an amazing naturalist, botanist, and ornithologist, Thoreau had an indefinable caller as well. He referenced it several times in his journals as the “night warbler” but couldn’t put a species to the description. And in a conversation with his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau was convinced to give up the search. Emmerson encouraged him to abandon the quest to identify the species, to enjoy the call, and to allow nature to maintain her mystery. So this morning, before my coffee, before my front stoop birdwatching, before carrying my lazy cat back inside for her second breakfast and third nap, and before writing an article about birds, I listened to the possibly rare North American winged cheeseburger lover and smiled knowing that I’ll never chase it for a name. Someday it may choose to land in front of me and put a face to the song, and a name to that face. But until then we will maintain our current relationship and I’ll feel all the more comfortable in enjoying things as they stand. Please don’t ever tell me – as I’m sure some of you already know. I’m enjoying following the greats and letting nature have her mystery. In the end it seems that I came to fish – and nobody ever called it catching.
One great thing in our current time is the ease and ability to call for help. From any phone and a quick dial out to 911 will get you to dispatcher who will send whatever type of help you need. Not that long ago, you had to know the number to call in order to get Police, a different number for the Fire Department, and of course other numbers if you need help with your utilities. Now, just three little numbers and any of those helpers are on the way. Yet, being in the fire service, there is still one other method to call in. Using our own radio system. You can just key up the radio and talk directly to the dispatcher with your emergency. As I sat at home that early evening, I was keeping busy with my normal household chores. As my radio clicked on, it wasn’t a normal dispatching of a call. It was one of our members. To this day, I can still hear the exact way he talked to the dispatcher. He called in that his neighbor’s house was on fire. The urgency in his tone was very unlike him. I knew as he was starting to report the call, it was a real emergency. Believe it or not, we respond to quite a few false alarms. In this case, there was no doubt that it was a real event starting to unfold. I was out my door before the official call went out over the radio. As I dashed across town to the Rural Station, we had an update. Fire showing from the second floor. We had to hurry. This house was close to a 10 minute drive from the station. I’m sure I could shave off a minute or two, but every second counts when the fire has that big of a start. I roared into the station and through on my gear. I managed to be one of the first there, so I climbed up in the driver’s seat. Just a moment later, I had a crew and we were off. I swear I put my foot to the floor and only let up for the corners. It would end up that I personally knew the homeowner’s as well. That’s never a good feeling. It gives you this mass sense of urgency. More than normal. You have to get there to help. Whatever it takes. In fact, I was going probably a bit faster than I should’ve that night on the way there. I remember on one corner, the truck sort of “drifted” around. Not like a full on skid, but enough that the other guys in the truck gave me the look. The look of “take it easy”. We topped the last hill before the house and you could see it. The smoke and glow. As we came down to the house, three sides of the top floor had fire blowing out the windows. This would be a tough battle. This far involved without a water resource other than what we could truck in. My crew was off. We were ordered to make an aggressive interior attack in hopes of knocking it down enough that we could get a handle on it. We had already confirmed that everyone that was home, was out of the structure. I quickly flaked off the hose while the crew got packed up to go in. I charged the line as they were ready to make entry.
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They disappeared into the black smoke, now pouring from the first floor. After only a couple of minutes, they came back out. Damn, it was too much. The crew later said the heat was too intense and the fire was blowing down the stairwell. They tried to push it back up, but it was just too hot and intense. We transitioned into a defensive exterior attack. As more crews arrived, we advanced more lines. Dumping water into the windows as fast as it could get trucked to the scene. As our operations continued, we became of aware of a new problem. All that water was going down into the basement. The one part of the home that wasn’t burning was now filling with water. Some of the crews were reassigned at this point to do as much salvage work as possible. They pulled out all they could in an effort to keep those things from being ruined. We were also running out of water. With the long commute, we were pumping water faster than it was coming out to us. The fire was beginning to feel somewhat under control, so we made another transition to help conserve water. We shut down all but two of the hand lines. This would enable us to continue working on getting the fire fully extinguished, but also not unnecessarily consume too much water. Something most folks don’t think about is how loud the fire ground operations can be. Especially for the one operating the engine. The fire pumps can be extremely loud when pumping large volumes of water. As I ran the pumper that night, somehow I heard my phone ringing. It was a strange number, but I decided to answer it anyway. It ended up being the husband of the home owner. Since we had the personal connection, he called to see if I could find his wife for him. I asked him to hang on while I looked. This was just devastating to say the least. They were all accounted for and uninjured from the fire itself, but they were basically losing everything. I just felt so bad. I got the two of them connected and left her to a private call. I went back to my duties running the pumper and let them be. The fire began to wind down. Smoldering hot spots were getting taken care of. Anything that could be salvaged out of the structure, was taken out. Hoses started to be picked up and trucks were being sent home. Finally, a sorrowful goodbye and well wishes. We left to go clean up and be ready for the next call. I learned a couple of things that night. First, slow down. Even in a state of urgency, you can’t operate outside your abilities. Especially when you are driving. If you crash, you can’t help. Second, no matter how prepared you are, your life can change in a blink of an eye. In only a few short hours, a home was completely lost to fire. Third, use your ability for compassion. To this day, I still rarely answer a call that I don’t recognize. That night, I decided to answer a phone call (while completely consumed in something else) and it made all the difference to those I answered the call for. In what was an awful day for them, I was able to help bring them together. Of course I realize I only answered the call, but the ability to have the compassion for that moment made all the difference in the world to those who needed it the most.
people OF the palouse photos + interview
gayle anderson This is a new Home&Harvest series! Let’s get to know our neighbors, those like us and those who are different from us.
It started out this way, a text message to my first target. “Good morning Sam, I need your help. The editor of Home&Harvest has started a new section in the magazine titled “People of the Palouse” and she has given me the opportunity to write stories about local people around here. And I would be forever grateful if you would be my first interviewee... plus I’m happy to bribe you with beer!” And with that, let me introduce you to Sam Duncan. I met Sam when he pulled up behind my car as I had stopped to open the gate to my driveway - he jumped out and says “I’ve been wanting to meet you!” And I wondered to myself, who is this guy who looks like a cross between General Custer and Colonel Sanders and sporting a T-shirt that said “I like BEER”? After introducing himself as my neighbor and a bit of chit chat, I said “I like your T-shirt” and Sam says, “I like beer” and I said “I do too, I think I’ll fit in nicely in this neighborhood”. I’ve been hearing “Sam stories” for the last four years living down the road from him and I knew this was gonna be good and that you would be in for a treat. My hope is I can paint a picture with words to capture the spirit of what a maverick with a high IQ and love of adventure looks like, so you can get the essence of Sam. Sam’s colorful life began in California and his quest for learning and seeking things out of the ordinary has taken him all over the USA. As a senior in high school, his first job was in an auto front end shop as he loved working on his own cars. That was a game changer as he quickly learned working on someone else’s cars wasn’t as much fun as he thought and very different from tinkering on his own autos. But he learned the value of a good work ethic and tapping into his natural gifts that included being creative and learning how to make fiberglass auto bodys that would fit a VW chassis. That job wouldn’t last too long as this was back in the late 1960’s and “Uncle Sam” tapped his shoulder and he was drafted by the Marines. He knew that wasn’t the route he wanted to go, so he quickly signed up with the Army and became a medic while stationed in Vietnam in biochemical warfare. When they weren’t flying, he and the other medics worked in the villages treating malaria, parasites and even gunshot wounds. Little did he know that his desire to help people would lead to so much more.
Fresh out of the Army, medics could test to become an RN except in California and Florida. And as Sam had returned to his home State, he found that jobs were hard to come by. But his determination paid off and he was able to land a job as a surgical orderly in a psychiatric hospital. Through his medical connections there, he met others who would help direct his path to more opportunities, such as helping set up the first Physician Assistant program in California. But the thirst for something different beckoned and with his love of horses, he moved to Skytook, Oklahoma to attend the Oklahoma Farriers College to learn the trade of becoming a horse shoer. He eventually decided to move to Alaska and when he told his mom he was moving to the 49th State, she said, but you don’t know anyone there. And in typical Sam fashion he replied, “Well I will 10 minutes after I arrive!” It’s fair to say that Sam doesn’t know any strangers, just people he hasn’t befriended yet. One day after he was back in the lower 48 States, he had heard an ad on the radio about the University of Idaho and on a whim drove to Moscow. He enrolled in classes and was living in his horse shoeing truck when he met the love of his life, Debbie, in a UI biology class. As she walked past him one day in class, he said, “You have a defective gait”. Seriously, I snorted with laughter and told Sam, I’ve never heard a pick-up line quite like that before, but I guess it must have worked as she ended up marrying you! Their travels took them to Oregon and then Tennessee where Sam shoed horses and Debbie was working at the University of Tennessee. As Sam puts it, all I was doing was driving around, drinking beer and shoeing horses and thought since I was taking her to the college every day that maybe I should maybe take a class or two, and low and behold “ I ended up with a BA in Agriculture and a MS in Animal Science” with an emphasis in reproductive physiology, which lead to research on pregnant mares with reproduction issues that were connected to toxic reactions to fescue grass. That then led him to getting a Pd.D. in Cardiovascular Physiology at WSU. Sam gets a twinkle in his eye when he is going to give you a “one liner” and says that when he was a post doc he didn’t know if he could take going from being a “UI Vandal” and a “Coug at Wazzu” to being known as a “ooey pooey” at the (UIPUI - University of Indiana/Purdue). And not long after that they moved back to Moscow where Sam was persuaded to go to pharmacy school at WSU. After getting his license, he worked in various places including the Vet School pharmacy and started the pharmacy for the WSU Student Health Clinic. He counseled students who came in and tried to make sure they knew they could and should ask questions from the pharmacist about what they were taking and what they were putting in their bodies. And then the twinkle appears in his eye…. and he says I also wanted to tell people, “I sold drugs to kids on school grounds”. Oh Sam! You may have recognized Sam when he was the pharmacist at Tidyman’s Grocery Store in Moscow back in the 1990s. But behind his helpful nature-
-with the public, management would soon
learn Sam has his own way of interpreting organizational requirements that seemed silly. One day he was told he was to wear a necktie, he said, “You want me to look like a box boy?” And management replied, no they felt that a necktie conveyed a more professional look. So, Sam complied, except that he wore his necktie on his thigh! Management eventually got used to his antics and let Sam be Sam. After that, Sam created his own business as a relief pharmacist for hire in small independent pharmacies and that led to him traveling all over Oregon, Idaho and Washington. He and Debbie ended up buying a local pharmacy in Ritzville and stayed there until retirement beckoned. They sold the business and moved back to their rural Moscow homestead to enjoy life that still includes horses, a bit of being a blacksmith, playing the fiddle and of course, tipping back a nice cold brew with friends. And as we concluded the interview, I said to Sam; I love your take on life which seems to me that there are no wrong turns in life, only adventures.
Sam’s Pearls of Wisdom Don’t be afraid to take chances. Never let the fear of not knowing anyone hold you back from moving to someplace new, you will always make friends. If you want to learn something new, go do it. You don’t have to go into debt to do it, just do what you can afford, it’s one step at a time. Always take the road less traveled, you will never know where it’s gonna lead! Who shall we meet? We’d love an introduction. Email: Heather@HomeAndHarvestMagazine.com
Mar/April 2021 25
A few years ago I saw a cartoon that compared being in your 30s to a second adolescence. At the time I was in my 30s and it seemed very fitting. Things were going on with my body that confused me. I had acne all over again. I wanted to stomp my feet and slam doors more than ever! I felt a little bit like a teenager but also thought I was old enough to “know better.” It was rough - a tough adjustment. I was coming of age again. And then I breathed easier for a whole month or two, just long enough to think the worst was behind me...until it wasn’t. My worst was definitely yet to come at that point. Now that I’m on the other side of this experience, I can see it for what it was...a lull before the storm. For those few months, I was no longer bothered by plucking the occasional chin hair and had embraced the tinsel in my hair, which a friend of mine fondly called her silver hairs - that lull was the rest I didn’t even know I needed before the real fight would happen. Perimenopause. Like all things, every person’s body is going to react differently to aging. But, allow me to give you a little history and some general information that may help your own journey or that of someone you care about. If you’re anything like me, you would have liked a heads up that any or all of this could happen to you!
COMING OF AGE by Annie Gebel
So, what is perimenopause? It’s a term that refers to the period of time before menopause, but only if a woman has symptoms. If there are no symptoms and she simply stops having a menstrual cycle for a full year (that’s the definition of menopause), then the time prior to that year would be considered premenopause. And I’m a wee bit jealous of her. Along with that tinge of jealousy, though, is true happiness for her. I can’t tell you how many times in the last few years I have fallen into a pile on the floor and wondered how much longer I could handle this? I’m so happy for the women who haven’t had that experience. What can the symptoms experienced during perimenopause be and are they really so bad that they can cause a capable, independent woman to fall to her knees? The answers are: pretty much anything and yes. Women who experience perimenopause can have fewer periods, more frequent periods, longer periods, heavier periods, spotting between periods, and/or a whole gamut of actual period issues. The hormonal changes can impact everything from mental health to bone health, sleep to incontinence, and desire and love life.
When I was younger, I remember hearing about hot flashes that women going through menopause could experience, but the reality is that hot flashes and all the rest of these symptoms happen before menopause and in women as young as their mid-30s. And, bonus, they can last for more than a decade in some cases. See why I’m a wee bit jealous of the occasional woman who slides into menopause without any of these struggles first? (I should note that the symptoms of actual menopause can be less than great sometimes too, so even the women that slide gently into this phase of life may still have symptomology to deal with. I think we’re more aware of those possibilities, though, which is why I’m on my soapbox talking about what can happen before that.) Perimenopause doesn’t have to be OMG ridiculous, but for me it was. In fact, I ended up having a hysterectomy. I tried a few other options and this path was the best fit for me. I’m still in the healing phase post-surgery, but I feel like I can confidently say that I’m relieved and hopeful for the next stage. The last several years were so heavy with pain, struggles, doctors washing their hands of me because ‘yeah, perimenopause can be difficult, but it’s the way it is. Good luck!’ So, along with bringing you some explanation, I’m also writing this because I want you to be your best advocate. Doctors are human. They don’t always have all the answers, even though we want them to. So, if you’re experiencing symptoms that make your life especially difficult, keep asking questions. Get second opinions. Get third ones if you need! Check with women in your family and friend groups to see what they’re doing. Look into functional medicine, naturopathic methods, and online resources to give you ideas that might be outside your box, but have potential to change your experience of aging for the better. Perimenopause doesn’t have to be like that. I don’t want it to be the struggle it was for me for you. Fight for yourself - mind, body, and soul. ...which brings me to the last point I want to make. As often happens when moving through a milestone passage in life, you may find that your spiritual self feels altered too. Confidence in who she is is something that many women can stand to grow into. So many women, myself included, spend their 20s and 30s focused on doing for others. These are the years we’re trying to get ahead at work, build relationships, have children. All those things take a lot of energy and reveal a lot about who we really are. Plus, maybe there was a tiny silver lining to my perimenopause experience. As I was pouring so much energy into all the symptoms I was dealing with I had none left in my life for pretending anything. So I started peeling off layers of what I thought I was supposed to be and remembering who I really was deep inside. I found growing confidence, joy for others who were growing too, and cared less about fitting in and more about being me. As women, sometimes it just takes time to come into our own and recognize the wisdom of our souls. Sometimes it just takes a coming of age.
of latah county Zachary Wnek
This is a story that you didn’t know you were interested in. If you’re reading this you’ve most likely visited Latah County, Idaho. More than likely you never thought twice about the origins of this county (or heck any county). But Latah County is special. Latah County, Idaho was created by an act of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Grover Cleveland on May 14, 1888. In order to understand this story I believe it is best to know the characters. Charles Moore plays the leading man in this story. Professionally, he served as the President of the First National Bank of Moscow. Moore saved his correspondence which was eventually donated to the Latah County Historical Society where the correspondence from 1888 has been preserved, organized, and now digitized. This article was informed by his correspondence. In early January, 1888, Moore traveled to Washington D. C. to endeavor to pass a bill through congress which would either create a new county or move the county seat from Lewiston to Moscow (but more about all this later). Moore stayed at the National Hotel on the corner of Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in room 21 for the duration of his stay for a sum of $3.50 per night. W.W. Baker enters the story through his close relationship with Moore. Baker was the cashier for the First National Bank of Moscow. Baker served as Moore’s main correspondent in Moscow. Baker was as an invaluable asset, serving as Moore’s eyes and ears in what would become Latah County, Idaho. J. W. Reid is a lawyer who was selected by Lewiston businesses to represent their interests during the proceedings in Congress. Generally, Reid represented the opposition to the arguments in favor of either moving the county seat to Moscow or dividing the county.
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Fred Dubois served as Delegate from Idaho Territory to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1886 to Idaho statehood in 1890. Dubois served as a guide to assist in finding political allies and ensuring that the legislation proposed was fair to all Idahoans. The issue on the table was local representation in government. The people of northern Nez Perce county felt that they could not participate in local government due to the size of Nez Perce County and difficulty traveling to Lewiston, the county seat. In an explanation of the bill sent to Congress: “To travel from one [Moscow] to the other [Lewiston] and their adjacent settlements, it is necessary to ascend [or descend] an elevation of 2200 feet over a winding road of five miles continuous ascent, cross the Clearwater River, not passable at all times especially at night, and never without expense.” This story begins on letterhead marked “STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.” In a letter, Charles Moore outlines the options for northern Nez Perce County. There were essentially two proposals on the table. Option 1 - Latah County would be created from the northern region of Nez Perce County with Moscow as the county seat. Option 2 - The county seat of Nez Perce County would be moved to Moscow. In this first letter, dated January 24, 1888, Moore seems to be in agreement with W. Sweet that moving the county seat to Moscow would be the best option. Moore and Sweet agree that if the county seat was in Moscow, southern Nez Perce county would be at liberty to secede from the county. Just three days later on January 27, 1888, the tide had changed. Sweet, who just days prior had been in favor of moving the county seat, changed his tune. “I have been having considerable talks… about the scheme of removing the County Seat, and tried to find out the folly of such an attempt. If we should succeed in the injustice, it would not settle anything. The fight would commence at once to take it away from us [Moscow], and turmoil and expense will never cease.” In early February, 1888 there were rumors that William McConnell and R. H. Barton had devised to remove the county seat via a vote. Willis Sweet gets word of this and reiterates his position to Charles Moore. “Again, if removed, the question would not be settled. The fight would only be commenced, and we would be subjected to constant turmoil and expense. Whereas, I do believe that a fair division would win, and thus settle our great question for all time.”
With all of this uncertainty swirling around the air William W. Baker penned a letter to leaders in the voting precincts of Nez Perce County. The letter, written on First National Bank of Moscow letterhead, asked voters’ opinion if they would support removal of the county seat from Lewiston to Moscow. The letter, dated February 4, 1888, requested a yes or no vote and left room for remarks. The folks in Lewiston, who wanted to keep the county intact tried to buy time. The Lewiston contingent (as they were referred to in the correspondence) said that they would like to see a petition of the populus before placing the matter or removing the County Seat to Moscow on a ballot. In a letter to Charles Moore on February 10th, 1888 W. W. Baker states: “we consider the petition question quite unnecessary and only a means sought by Dubois to delay matters, as the question is to be left to the vote of the people. Dubois undoubtedly wants a petition in order that Lewiston will look upon him in a more favorable light. Should we resort to petition Lewiston would at once get up a counter-petition perhaps as voluminous as ours.” Baker goes on to expand on their congressional strategy. “I wired Dernham at San Francisco [California] to obtain the assistance of Senator [Leland] Stanford, which he told me he could do.” The folks in Moscow knew that they needed political capital in order to get their plan through congress. Leland Stanford stood to be a very powerful ally, if they could get him on their side. Baker is brief and blunt in his assessment via telegraph: “[William J.] McConnell will arrive Sunday… will assist through Senator Stanford… Petition [for removing the county seat to Moscow] impractical ask [U.S. House of Representatives congressman from Oregon] Mitchell to introduce Bill. Important that we vote before general election [Presidential election among other offices in September, 1888]. ignore Dubois. - W. W. Baker.” Charles Moore and Fred Dubois enter into a correspondence. Dubois explains that he is a delegate for the people of the entire Territory of Idaho. Dubois believes that an election should be held to determine if the people of Nez Perce County favor retaining the county seat in Lewiston or if they favor removal. Another inquest could then be filed if the people favor moving the capital. Alternatively it seemed that dividing the county would have support when he writes on February 28, 1888: “I am at liberty to say that Mr. Stevenson [Governor of Idaho Territory] will favor on division, and am sure that the legislature will not hesitate at all to pass the bill. If you can not bring this arrangement about, if the people of Lewiston, for instance, insist on keeping the county intact; and the county seat at Lewiston. I will feel free, and consider it my duty to introduce a bill in [U.S.] Congress asking that the people of Nez Perce County be allowed to vote, as to whether their county seat remains at Lewiston or not.” As the political theatre continued nobody wanted to be on the wrong side. By now it was appearing to be true that changes would happen quickly to Nez Perce County, it just wasn’t clear what those changes might be. On February 29, 1888 Willis Sweet writes to Fred Dubois to clear up any misunderstandings on his position: “I understand that both McConnell and Moore are now in Washington. Some fellows started a story that I was quietly asking you ‘on the side’ not to help Moscow. Will you be kind enough to show this letter to them and tell them what a d--d [damned] lie it is? I hope you can help the bill [to create Latah County] through, and know you would do it for Moscow, even if I were ingrate enough to ask you not to.”
March of 1888 was striking. The conversation had shifted entirely. What was once a debate over relocation of the Nez Perce County seat or the division of Nez Perce County became a conversation over where the dividing line was to be drawn. The Lewiston contingent was holding fast using the Rim Rock line, while the Moscow contingent was pushing to get the line further south to include Genesee in their new county. March was spent trudging through the deadlock of remonstrances on both sides arguing over the line. Charles Moore writes in a letter to W. W. Baker & William J. McConnell on March 28, 1888, imploring them to investigate the Lewiston remonstrances to ensure that the signed names are indeed voters of Nez Perce County. “Extremely important to discredit remonstrances every way. Women, children, was misrepresented … Act quietly but promptly. We must contend remonstrances or lose. … Get all possible Genesee help.” Baker and McConnell must have worked hard and swiftly in their efforts. By April 1, 1888 E. J. Platt, secretary of the committee of execution of remonstrances, wrote the following: “Sentiment in favor of division being so strong and remonstrances obtained so questionably we have decided to withdraw oppositions.” While the bill was moving forward in the committee Lewiston was working on convincing other congresspeople that the bill was not in the best interest of Idaho Territory. A coalition of Lewiston businessmen, including seven attorneys, wrote to Joseph N. Dolph U. S. Senator from Oregon. The gist of the letter can be summarized through these quotations: “We can assure you that our citizens generally are emphatically opposed to a division of this county and to any interference at this time with the political affairs of the county.” This late push to influence individual congresspeople proved ineffectual. On May 3, 1888 Charles Moore wrote a telegraph to W. W. Baker: “Bill passed both houses - Send when I get a certified copy.” With both chambers of Congress overcome, only one person could stop the creation of Latah County, President Grover Cleveland. On May 11, 1888 Dubois, Delegate from Idaho Territory to the U.S. House of Representatives, sent the following to President Grover Cleveland, imploring him to sign the bill which would create Latah County, Idaho: “I refused to act til convinced that it was for the common good and satisfactory to the people affected. I am now thoroughly convinced that such is the case. Every business man in the county, including the merchants of Genesee, enthusiastically endorse it as passed. All the farmers in Latah County and almost all those of Nez Perce favor it. The bill was published near two months ago in the four papers of the County and-
-criticism invited, and it was passed Congress without a protest from any of them or any body except a party interested in a small town, Genesee, a prospective candidate for [Nez Perce] County seat.
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Realizing my responsibility to my constituents, I unhesitatingly and cheerfully assume the responsibility when I urge you most earnestly and respectfully, to give the bill your approval. Respectfully submitted, Delegate from Idaho Fred Dubois.” May 14, 1888. President Grover Cleveland signed the bill creating Latah County, Idaho. Latah County, Idaho has the distinction of being the only county in the United States [or county equivalents] to be created by an act of the United States Congress. Upon the conclusion of this matter Reid and Moore appear to be in good spirits. Moore wrote a letter recommending Reid in a new endeavor: “I take great pleasure in commending Mr. Reid as a man and a lawyer to your confidence and good offices.” It is important to remember that these men who are against one another in this endeavor are neighbors. On May 22, 1888 Moore sent notice to Reid that he was to be in St. Paul, Minnesota and ready to start west on Saturday. Ried responded by writing Moore a letter on May 27, 1888. On the address of the letter Reid underlines the words Latah County, in what seems like a tip of his cap to Charles Moore and the citizens of Latah County who fought to make their goal of representation in local government a reality.
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Smokin’ Good Burnt Butt By Tony Niccoli A few weeks back, I found myself circling the parking lot of our local grocery store looking for my hook-up. In truth, this was really Heather’s connection. She had found him by recommendation on Facebook, and the story was that he always had the best stuff in town. With a few private messages, and a quick discussion of weight and price, Heather had set up the deal, and now I was out running for the pick-up. The only problem was I didn’t really have a description, and the last thing I wanted to do was approach the wrong car and start an embarrassing conversation. So I took one more loop around the snowy parking lot, slowly scanning the cars, looking for any obvious signs, and then just decided to go with my first instinct. A black SUV with tinted windows parked all the way out at the farthest edge of the lot. Two passengers inside. I pulled up in the line of parking spaces behind the SUV, and got out slowly, taking one last look around to make sure everything was cool. The driver saw me, and exited his side of the vehicle, walking around to the rear hatch and waving as I approached. “Hey there,” I smiled, now more confident in seeing that his rear cargo area was full of individually wrapped packages, and knowing I had found the right spot. As he started to talk I realized that I had seen him before – smoking out back behind one of my favorite spots downtown. This was the guy, and I knew from experience that he only smoked the good stuff! “My wife put in an order for a pound. You got the brisket?” And that’s apparently just how it works as an adult. Spending your Sunday morning making deals on smoked meat from the guy who used to be the wizard behind one of the town’s top BBQ spots. Buying burnt ends out the back of an unmarked SUV. You might be wondering why a huge fan of grilling and smoking meat like myself would be buying brisket instead of smoking it at home. Unless you have ever tried to smoke a brisket yourself! Don’t get me wrong – its definitely worth it. It just isn’t always feasible for me. First of all, we are talking about 60 to 90 minutes per pound. And if you want to take on a whole pack of brisket, that can easily be in the 16-18 pound range! So even if I have an entire day to spend tending the coals and wood in my smoker, I still have to figure out what to do with all the amazing meat.
It’s a shame to freeze it after smoking, so its best enjoyed with a big family or a large group of friends. Or, in the case of our treat a few weeks ago, just buying some burnt ends a pound at a time! So what can you do if you don’t have a local pit master who is willing to put in the hours of loving care? And if you don’t have space on your home grill or smaller smoker and won’t ever be able to take on a whole brisket by yourself? Well, I have two great recipes that can simulate the delicacy of burnt ends with a fraction of the time and meat required to make the real thing. First, you need to understand burnt ends. This is not a bad thing, like burned and ruined meat – it’s actually a delicacy that results from the point on a beef brisket. That’s the longer, thin section of the muscle out on the flat. As you are slowly smoking the whole brisket you can remove this section once you get to 200 degrees, chop it up into little cubes, drizzle on your favorite sauce, and then go back on the smoker to really caramelize and crust all the surface during the final cook. The result is something almost indescribable. It has the tenderness and buttery finish of a brisket cut, but the crust and bite of a perfectly cooked steak, with a sauce that has been exposed to the smoke, and just gotten to the point of transforming into a caramelized, thick, gooey wonder without getting charred or burned. They chew a little before they melt in your mouth. So again, I can’t stress this enough, the real thing is 100% worth the time and effort. But I want to give you two (relatively) quick and easy options to cheat a little.
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Both of these options are going to require smoking for about 8 hours total. If you haven’t taken the full plunge into slow-cooking meats by building or buying yourself a dedicated smoker or pellet grill, that is no reason you can’t still master the techniques need for this cook on either your gas or charcoal grill. Just set up an indirect zone for the meat (as far as you can get from the heat on your grill) and a hot zone for cooking – that would be one burner on gas, or a smaller pile of charcoal on the opposite side. You want to keep your grill at about 275 degrees, which is much more forgiving than a lot of other smoking techniques on a grill since we won’t be all the way down at 225. With charcoal, you only want to continue to add a little throughout the cook to make sure you maintain temperature, and never allow your base to go completely out. Each time you add lumps or briquettes, add just a little wood – but go sparingly to get the smoke flavor right and to keep the heat low enough. For gas, wrap a small pouch of dry wood chips very tightly in some heavy aluminum foil and put it down on the burner. Replace the packet every few hours. Set a timer on your phone to remind you to look into building or buying a smoker so you won’t have to use your grill next time. A timer also helps to keep on top of those wood chips.
So now that we know how to set up the heat, and we know that we want a 275 degree cook, lets talk about our brisket alternatives for when a cave-man sized slab of meat just won’t do. Our first option is a chuck roast. Get something in the 4-6 pound range and then trim all the visible fat. Generously massage in some of your favorite dry rub, and get that baby on the smoke for two hours with the lid closed the entire run. Then flip it over and replace your wood, allowing it to run for another hour or two. At this point we want to check the temperature occasionally, looking to get it to 200 degrees. If you have done well in holding that 275 cooking temp, this should be about 4 hours in. Once you hit the magic number, pull it and let it cool a little on a cutting board inside. We want it to be just cool enough to handle and cut. Our second option is going to be a little surprise to most people – we are switching animals all together and using a pork shoulder. That’s right, a good old Boston Butt, the marvelous cut that we normally reserve for pulled pork perfection is going to be our beef stand-in for these burnt ends! Get a 6-8 pound boneless cut, and butterfly it, cutting down the middle, long ways, from the end where the shank bone had been connected. If you are buying one that already has the bone out, just ask your butcher and they will be happy to show you the proper end, and if you took it out yourself just start there. You want to stop your cut just about ½ inch before the cylindrical muscle at the opposite end so that it all stays attached as a single piece, but can now open up long ways to make a 3” thick strip. Once you have it laid out, trim all the fat and then work in your favorite dry rub. It goes onto that same 275 degree indirect heat with light wood smoke, and will cook for a little over 6 hours. For the Boston butt recipe we are looking for 180 degrees before we pull it. It should rest for about 15 minutes and then will be cool enough to cut. Now that you have rested your chuck roast or pork shoulder and its safe to handle, go ahead and cut it into cubes. Don’t worry about being too exact, just shoot for cuts that are about an inch or inch and a half thick. Put it into an aluminum pan and cover well with your favorite BBQ sauce and then a little sprinkling of the same rub you used before. Put the sauced ends back onto the grill or smoker for another hour to let that sauce caramelize. You better check them every now and again and pop one in your mouth – but just for science. Its important to monitor your cooking. So, given the choice, I’d still drive on icy roads in the middle of a storm to get the real thing, but on weeks where its not available, I always know that these burnt end substitutes are there to satisfy my cravings.
Carrot Dill Soup Emory Ann Kurysh
This recipe can be made to be dairy-free or not! Simply substitute milk products for the almond milk. It is an easy and versatile soup.
Ingredients: 4 tbsp oil, any kind 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 8 large carrots, peeled and chopped 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock 1 cup almond milk 2 tbsp fresh dill (or 2 tsp dried dill)
Steps: 1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add garlic and onions, and cook for 5 minutes or so. Meanwhile, prepare the carrots. Throw them in as well. Finally, add the vegetable stock, almond milk, and dill to the pot. Continue to cook over medium heat for another 25-30 minutes. 2. Once the vegetables are cooked through, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Blend the soup in a food processor or blender. Serve immediately as is, or top with sour cream and dill. This soup can be refrigerated up to a few days or frozen up to 3 months.
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Cookies Emory Ann Kurysh
This recipe was largely inspired by the Checkerboard Cookies found in the recipe book “Fika.” The recipes in it are so simple, delicate, and tasty, I thought that using one to serve at Easter (and beyond) would be a nice treat.
Ingredients: 1 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp lemon juice 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Steps: 1. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and flour. Mix well and form into a soft dough. 2. Separate into two pieces, placing one in another bowl. Sprinkle cocoa powder over one half of the dough. Mix well. 3. Divide the light and dark doughs into two pieces each- making four in total. Form each piece into a log approximately 1 inch in diameter. Carefully place one light log next to a dark one. Then place one dark log on top of a light one, and the remaining light log on top of the dark one. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove dough from fridge and wrap and cut into approximately 24 equal pieces. Put cookies onto a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool before removing from sheet.
Spiced C hocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting
Kitchen: Sara Raquet
A Vintage Recipe – adapted from A Taste of Home
1 cup unsalted butter, softened 1-1/4 cups sugar 3 large eggs, room temperature 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup baking cocoa 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon of salt 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 cup buttermilk
3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar 1/4 cup baking cocoa 6 tablespoons strong brewed coffee 6 tablespoons butter, melted 2 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup toasted chopped almonds, optional Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Sift together all dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing from pans. In a small bowl, combine all icing ingredients except nuts. Spread frosting between layers and over the top and sides of cake. If desired, top with almonds.
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Emory Ann Kurysh Traditionally, Easter bread is a sweetened loaf that has been served for many centuries. This one in particular is modified from a traditional Italian loaf. After combining a few recipes that I found online, I made this loaf twice and settled on the one where I had the best results. I altered the steps, added and took away some ingredients, and didn’t add dyed eggs to it. It is a soft and sweet loaf that can really be served anytime during the year! It is paired best with light or sweet toppings (such as butter or jam).
Ingredients 2/3 cup granulated sugar 1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast 1 1/2 cup warm milk 1/2 cup butter, plus more to grease 1 tsp salt 1 tsp vinegar 2 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla 6 cups all-purpose flour
S teps In a large bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, and warm milk. Mix and cover with a damp tea towel for 15 minutes. Mixture should be bubbly. Add warm butter, salt, vinegar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat over medium for 1 minute. Add flour 1 cup at a time. Use approximately 6 cups or until dough is slightly firm and no longer sticky to the touch. Move to a floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise for 1 hour. Punch down the dough. Separate into three and let stand on a floured surface. Roll out each one into a rope 1” thick. Put each rope side by side, and pinch the top ends together. Gently braid, then form into a ring. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a cookie sheet or 8” cake pan and gently place the ring on top. Butter the ring, then cover with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Place ring in oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and brush with more butter. Let cool slightly before serving. Can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days, or frozen up to 3 months.
Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars Gayle Anderson
These Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars are bound to be your new favorite! With a tart, yet sweet lemon filling and a streusel oatmeal topping, these are hard to put down!
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar 1 cup all purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup butter, softened 2 ½ cup old-fashioned oats 2 Tbl lemon juice
2 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated) 4 teaspoons lemon zest 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a food processor add flour, brown sugar, salt and pulse a couple of times until blend. Add butter and mix till crumbly. Then add oats and pulse a couple of times to mix in. Remove 1 ½ cups of crust mixture, put in a small bowl and set aside. Add in 2 Tbl of lemon juice and pulse 3-4 times till mixed. Then press oat mixture into the prepared pan. In a small bowl mix together sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract. Spread evenly on top of the oat mixture in the pan. Top with the remaining 1 ½ cups oat mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let cool, then refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.
Mar/April 2021 52
Annie Gebel's Home & Harvest Tarot Reading It’s the time of year when winter is winding down and spring is around the corner. What message do the cards have for you in this time of readying the earth, planting seeds, and seeing the first buds on trees? What do you need to ready, plant, or let blossom? I’m using The Wild Wood Tarot, by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, for this reading. This deck is full of nature references and seemed in alignment with the question we’re asking. So, take a long, deep breath or two and think about which of these cards speaks to you. If more than one grabs your attention, there may be bits of both messages that you’re meant to hear. Be open to what you read and really sit with the messages you hear. 8. The Stag This card reminds us that we (humans) are not the only beings impacted by what happens on Earth. Yet we are responsible for a great deal of what goes on here. This is a timely reminder as we’re coming out of winter and moving into spring. Consider how your actions are impacting the land and water and animals around you. Think about your responsibility in the world and what you can do to improve the role you play. Meet yourself in the mirror with a steady eye, like the way the Stag is looking at you. Be honest. Act with integrity. Give respect to the planet we live on. Keep in mind that every step, no matter whether it’s global, in your community, or in your home, is a step in the right direction if it’s made with sincerity and is in alignment with your values and intentions. 16. The Blasted Oak This card is about some sort of sudden, possibly unexpected change. Whatever gets shaken up in your life might be just the wake up call you need to see a situation in a way you’ve been blind to or it might be the urging you need to build the life you say you want but have put off. Sudden change does not have to be negative, but it could be unsettling. If you’re feeling shock, anger, or sadness over the bottom falling out, then utilize skills you have to work through those feelings. Don’t let them get stuck in your body. If your boat feels rocked, but you feel relief or a release, then let go of what is no longer and prepare to start anew. Remember that life is always changing, even when it’s sudden or thrust upon you, it’s normal. You have gotten through sudden change before, you can do it this time too. Four of Vessels - Boredom This is one of my favorite cards because this woman is so bored - and we’ve all been there. Some days it just seems like there’s nothing to do, definitely nothing we want to do. You might find that after a year of COVID you’re feeling quite disinterested in all the activities you’ve been doing for the past many months and so, SO ready for something different. The thing is, something different has always been within your reach. If you take a close look at this card, you’ll seek the vessels growing trees, pouring water, and even the opening of a cave behind her. She has directions to look to see inspiration. So do you. Boredom happens when you spend too much time just looking down and feeling “woe is me.” The universe gives us more of what we strive for, intend, and go after! So, think about how you can break out of your boredom and bring yourself more joy, feel refreshed, and invite more positive choices into your life.
Henry Henry Lorang’s Lorang’s Turn Turn To To Travel Travel 1918 1918
By By Diane Diane Conroy Conroy In the last few issues of Home&Harvest magazine I’ve been writing about John Lorang of Genesee, Idaho and his 6 month trip in 1910 to Europe with his wife Mary Lorang. It was a very impressive visit with dozens of journals and photographs. John Lorang wrote that it was the “greatest achievement” he could ever ask for. 8 years later, in 1918; it was their son Henry’s chance to go abroad. It wasn’t quite as glamorous. Henry had gotten caught up in the fervor of World War I. After helping with the harvest at home, he left his business courses in Spokane and his fiancé Marguerite Tobin in Genesee and became part of the American Expeditionary forces in England. Through a very long trip through Basic Training at Kelly Field in Texas, Henry recorded his journey. “We were stationed in the sand dunes of flu-infested tent-flapping Kelly Field for thirteen days and on New Year’s, were transferred out after spending the last night on cots with one blanket in a large sheet-iron hanger. Men were dying like rats all around us and some of our men were later in the hospital and some froze their ears and fingers in the sub-zero weather. I contracted the flu at the time and couldn’t speak above a whisper for over two weeks. I reported on sick-roster and, after telling my tale of woe to the M.D. in a whisper he gave me a dirty look &, with a sneer said “take two of these, every two hours and a light dose of salts over there in the corner--you’re marked “duty”. All of this time I was still in civilian clothes since there were no uniforms available and I had light weight clothes but I did bring an overcoat. I had written home for added clothes which were sent me at Kelly-Field, but with a huge warehouse bulging with mail sax, nothing was delivered out of that muddle. Thanks to Captain Baker, after seeing my plight he gave me a heavy warm sweater that he had. He was an “old army captain” and a swell guy. ….Cold as it was, our tent flaps had to be open and I piled all of my clothes on my bed including my shoes which did add weight after all. More than one morning I had to stand reveille after putting on shoes out of which I emptied the snow which blew in during the night- believe it or not. Things were beginning to form some faster now and, before the end of March we were well on our way to England on an English ship-Celtic by name. This was another “death-trap”- Three men died enroute and I was in a formation to witness the burial of one at sea.” Eventually settling into camp in Shrewsbury, England, NW of London; Henry had a very difficult and interesting job. He helped fabricate the wings of the early aeroplanes that were flown out of England. At the time according to Henry’s journals, these airplanes were little more than large kites, the wings being simply made of cotton muslin. This muslin was coated with something they called “dope” and was hand brushed on the cotton wings creating just enough stiffener to let them float through the air. Henry was required to work with this coating in a 96 degree room though it was quite toxic. Soldiers who had to work in this room were given gallons of milk to try to help combat some of the adverse effects of using these harsh chemicals. Milk was thought to be nourishing and would counteract the two toxic applications needed on each wing. It did not help enough though. Henry suffered from lung ailments for the rest of his life. Henry Lorang was also an avid historian and photographer and tried to document his time in England and France during World War I in detail. He was especially good at recording every single day that he was there, so we have pages and pages of journals of his time during World War I, 1917-1919.
It was quite a harrowing task to fly these aeroplanes. There were many accidents just testing them out. It was also a common practice for the commander to elevate the pilot’s status to corporal before the flight so that if they didn’t make it, their widows or family would get additional compensation. These flights were very experimental. Items were constantly salvaged from the wrecked planes and turned into furniture, stoves, beds and small hand tools, such as a letter opener. These letters meant everything to the soldiers. Henry labored in his camp in Shrewsberry England, recorded his time and wrote several letters home. In old cigar boxes tied up with strings, we found over 200 letters between his fiancé Marguerite and Henry. There are additional letters between Henry’s parents John and Mary Lorang and his brothers and sisters and friends. Henry took furlough during the harvest time in England and worked at a local farm to help bring in the crops, so after he returned to the States, he still had many friends from overseas. We have their letters. Henry struggled on with this toxic environment and worked on the fabric wings. There was also a small group of women soldiers, English and Yanks, sewing the fabric on the aeroplane wings and all became good friends. Later in the year in 1918, the men got the word that it was time to go to the trenches in France. It was their turn to gather up and travel across the English Channel into camps in to the war zones of France. Group photographs were taken, corporals were elevated from privates. Pvt. Henry Lorang became Cpl. Lorang. And they took off, with Henry journaling and taking some photographs aboard ship on the English Channel. After arriving in camp, the men were setting up setting up their tents and preparing to travel to the trenches in the morning. It was November 10, 1918. In the morning, at 11 a.m., the Armistice was signed. The town went wild and the younger local boys ran to the trenches to find souvenirs to sell to the soldiers and the rest of the day was celebration. German prisoners were being gathered up. French prisoners were being released. Henry knew German since it was his first language when growing up with German speaking parents in the farmhome in Genesee. He wasn’t supposed to, but he and a friend jumped a fence to go to talk to the German prisoners. He chatted with them and ended up trading for souvenirs that were handcrafted by a prisoner. One is a Christian cross made out of bullets. Another use for the bullets was to make seals stamps, for sealing wax which was how they used to close some early envelopes. Henry and his friend tried to jump the fence again to visit the French town, St. Maxient, but they were chased by the guard dogs. Sometimes they made it and sometimes they didn’t, but it was the end of the war and things were a little lax. Henry describes his time in England and that day in France in quite a lot of detail.
Mar/April 2021 60
One of the escapades of the soldiers was to trick somebody else who had jumped a fence to visit town. Their friends had hoped to quietly sneak back into their tent later, so that nobody would know…. but while their friends were gone Henry and two soldiers turned the tent around. This way the opening was on the opposite side, in the dark and then they decided to place a goat inside the tent. The guys returned a little bit soused and had an extremely loud and difficult time finding the opening of the tent, especially with a goat inside. So much for being quiet so that nobody would notice. The whole camp was awake. Henry missed his fiancé’ Marguerite terribly. Besides the 100 letters he sent her, he also wrote her poems……. “Far away in. The ocean gray. In the land of gay LaFrance. A soldier boy. On Christmas Day. Dreams a dream of youth’s romance. Santa Claus comes once again. As he did in the years gone by. The candles are gleaming the same. All brilliant. the tree stands by. Soldier doll, soldier doll. Cherie Petite, my Christmas joy. I’m a lucky soldier boy. Pride of the Red, White and Blue. Soldier doll of the Red, White and Blue. (French language inserts) I’ll hitch my wagon To a star. And come to where you are. I want you by telegraph. The ideal of your soldier boy, Operator get my message. I’ll not ring off, I’ll not ring off. So send the word Around the World. To my real life soldier doll.” Henry and Marguerite were married in Nov. 1919.
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You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!
By Joe Evans I believe that virtually everybody has seen the Christmas classic movie, “Christmas Story.” Those of us in the Baby Boomer generation can really relate to this movie. Although I’m a few years younger than Ralphie, the main character- many experiences were very similar, right down to a couple of fist fights. I did well in both. The second one occurred when I was in ninth grade after school, and both of us were dressed down by the principal the next day. I will always remember that Principal Drake stated that, “…neither of you would make a pimple on a good fighter’s ass!” I don’t think he was being politically correct! Anyway, back to the story. The first Centerfile rifle I ever shot was when I was 7 or 8 years old and it was an original 1873 Springfield carbine in caliber 45-70. I have many fond memories of this cannon off and on over the years and lately I have had the urge to obtain another one. Well, shortly before Christmas I was shopping locally and spotted this gorgeous octagon barreled, lever action 45-70 with a color case with hardened receiver. My, oh, my I thought! This is it! It’s a perfect gown-up style of Ralphie’s Red Ryden gun! No doubt about it- I had to have it! The wife thought it would make a great Christmas gift and I agreed. The next day we made the purchase along with a couple of boxes of ammo. Time to take it home and prepare for an encounter with Black Bart and his band of scurvy outlaws! The rifle is American made and there is absolutely nothing flawed in its construction. The wood is straight-grained, American walnut, fits well to the metal, and the grain is well-filled with a matte oil finish. Checkering is, I believe, machine made and done very well. Wood under the checkering is protected by stock finish but the checkering grooves are not filled with finish. The octagon barrel is of a blue black deep finish. The barrel flutes have been properly polished with no evidence of them being rounded off. The magazine is under the barrel and contains four rounds. It is what you’d call a ‘half-magazine’ and is designed like the modern .22 rimfires or the original 1860’s vintage Henry rifle. It is loaded by turning the magazine cup a quarter turn, pullout the brass cartridge follower, drop your cartridges in, push follower down and turn the cup a quarter turn to lock in place. Oh, and I should mention, total weapon capacity is five roundsBlack Bart beware! The receiver is beautifully color case-hardened. I suppose this could be a fake type of treatment, but I really don’t think so. Even if it is fake, it still is pretty and I am all for it. Action smoothness is extremely good and a hundred or so cycles made it like butter.
It makes a late pre-64 model 94 Winchester I have worked with seem like a pile of junk. The trigger pull is a very crisp 4 to 4.5 lbs. Nice! The furnished sights are a gold bead front with the ladder in semi-buckhorn rear. The rear is windage-adjustable by drifting sight with a brass punch and hammer. The elevation is controlled by the quickly adjustable ladder bar and the center insert can be raised or lowered by loosening the screw on the side of the insert. And, it can be turned around to form either a ‘V’ notch or a ‘U’ notch sight picture. I rate the sights as being quite good, but bring your mallet, brass punch, small screwdriver, and plenty of ammo to zero in. By the way, don’t rely on one trip to the range to zero a weapon in. It will take several trips to do the job properly. This rifle comes with sling swivel studs installed. The receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts. I believe the rear two holes could be used to mount a ghost rim type peep sight. This is something I intend on looking into. A tang mounted peep sight would be really cool but I think that rather than shooting your eye out, you might poke it out with this type of sight on a rather light, heavy reclining weapon. The closest thing to a downer that I can think of about this 45-70 is the recoil pad. It does its job really well because it is soft, thick and ventilated. All this contributes to more rifle movement during recoil, hence the above comment about poking your eye out with a tang peep sight. As well, ventilated recoil pads do not seem proper on a vintage style weapon, but I’m nitpicking! Due to poor weather and an almost complete lack of ammunition availability and due to political unrest in the United States, shooting the Henry has been very limited. Shooting was limited to factory Hornady 325 FTX, handloads using 300 grain Sierra and 405 grain hollow point home cast with varying powders and charge weights. The accuracy was definitely minute-of-popcan to about 100 yards and this fits in with my intended usage of this weapon. I’ll give a more in-depth follow-up if the component and ammunition supply ever permits. One way of looking at the Henry 45-70 is to think of it as a gentleman’s Marlin 1895. To say I am delighted would be a gross understatement. In closing, I have to say this: I can’t shoot my eye out due to the pellet bounceback. 300 to 405 grains of bullet will continue on through whatever it hits in a straight manner. Time to spit out my tobacco juice, squint my left eye, and work the lever and have it out with Black Bart!
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The Oh, Otis! Shenanigans By Temple Kinyon
Episode 5: First-Hand Experience Otis bounded up the stairs to his Grandparents’ house. “Grandma, I’m here,” he hollered as he shoved the backdoor open. “Otis!” A blur of red-haired pigtails and freckled, rosy cheeks slammed into Otis in a big bear hug. “You’re here!” Otis gently pried himself from the grasp of the chubby girl and chuckled. “Hi, Biergut.” Grandma Helen smiled at the two young children. “Otis, come sit and have a cinnamon roll with Biergut. Her parents just dropped her off, and she needed a snack.” Otis’s dad, Marvel, strolled into the kitchen. “Are you ready, Ma?” Otis’s sister, Doris, came in behind Marvel. “Dad, you guys better get going.” “Thanks for staying with the kids, today,” Marvel said to his oldest daughter. “We’ll be back tonight for dinner after the church revival.” “Sure, Dad,” Doris smiled. “The boys and Gladys will be here this afternoon. They’re bringing the stuff for dinner. We’ll have it ready when you guys get back after all your bible thumping.” Marvel winked. “Ha, ha, Doris. You know I’m not always at church because I’m a farmer, but I always attend the revival. Nothin’ like a few hours of bible thumping’ with your fellow community members to get right with the Lord before spring work. I also get away from you bratty kids.” “Ha, ha, Dad,” Doris chuckled. “A few hours away from my seven hooligans is as close to heaven as I can get right now,” Marvel teased. “Ma, let’s get going. Mavis and the rest of the family are already at the church.” Helen rushed past Doris, Otis, and Biergut. “Be good children!” “Good luck,” Marvel quipped at Doris as he walked out to the car with Helen. Doris joined Otis and Biergut at the kitchen table. Otis slammed his empty glass down on the table and rubbed his tummy; it protruded now that it was full of milk and cinnamon roll. “Look at my belly, Doris. It sticks out like a beer gut. Haha! Get it? Beer gut?” Doris giggled, but Biergut didn’t. She scowled at Otis. “Don’t tease me about my name, Otis! It’s Biergut, not beer gut.” Otis smiled and lightly punched his friend in the arm. “Oh, c’mon, I only tease my pals.”
Biergut’s parents—Flossy and Poke Harmon—were long-time friends of the Swan family. They attended the same church and all the events held there, including the spring revival. Children weren’t allowed at the revival, so Biergut’s parents dropped her off to spend the day with Otis. Every year after the revival, Grandma Helen and Grandpa Ed hosted a pizza dinner for their entire family and the Harmons. All the Swan children except Doris had plans for the day, so Doris agreed to keep an eye on Otis and Biergut and help get the dinner ready for everyone. After Otis and Biergut finished their snack, they ran upstairs to play in the attic. They dressed up in old clothes from generations past, read facts from the dusty 1957 Encyclopedia Britanica set, and stared out the small attic window at the green and brown farm fields spread out as far as the eye could see. Doris brought them sandwiches and soda for lunch. Eventually, they got bored and wandered down to the basement to play games, but ended up in a big fight over who actually won a heated game of Slap Jack. Doris finally thumped down the stairs to referee. “He cheated!” Biergut accused. “I did not! SHE cheated!” Otis shot back. “Enough!” Doris yelled over the din. “Go outside and find something to do. The boys and Glads will be here in a bit with the pizza fixings, and you guys can come in then and help make dinner.” “When will that be?” Otis inquired. Doris looked at her wristwatch. “In about two hours. I know you can kill at least an hour outside, can’t you? Without fighting?” The Slap Jack incident forgotten, Otis and Biergut looked at each other. “Yes!” they shrieked and raced each other up the stairs. “We’ll be at the rock pile, Doris!” Otis yelled. “Be careful,” Doris replied. She climbed up the stairs and went back to the living room to watch television and read her latest issue of Tiger Beat. Otis and Biergut raced around the corner of the barn. A large mound of boulders and rocks had accumulated over several decades in a mass piled ten yards beyond the back of the barn. Every spring, Grandpa Ed and Marvel enlisted the help of the Swan children to pick up rocks from the fields to avoid equipment damage during spring work and harvest. They’d toss the rocks in the back of a truck, and Ed would deposit them in the pile. If anyone needed a few rocks for a project—friend or family—they could take from the stash. The pile now stood about six feet tall and took up almost a twenty foot circle. Otis and Biergut immediately began climbing. They scaled to the top and played a treacherous round of King of the Mountain. Biergut won, sending Otis sliding down the pile to the bottom. As he stood to brush the dirt off his jeans, Biergut whispered, “Did you hear that?” “Hear what?” Otis replied.
“There!” Biergut squatted down next to a small opening in the rocks. Otis hopped up to where Biergut perched. “I don’t hear anything.” “Shhhhh!” Biergut hissed. “You can’t hear it because your mouth is moving.” They both froze, no talking or even breathing. Suddenly, a tiny, audible squeak floated out from the opening. “There!” “Yeah! Wonder what it is?” Otis breathed. “Let’s find out!’ Biergut dropped down so her face was only inches away from the small crevice. “Biergut, you better watch out!” Otis warned. “It’s some kind of critter, and critters always bite. Leave it alone. You don’t want to have to go to see Doc Adams and get a shot!” “Oh, Otis, you’re such a chicken,” Biergut laughed. “I’m not scared. It could be a lost kitten or a baby mouse.” “It’s definitely not a kitten,” Otis stated. “I know what they sound like. Besides, there’s not enough room for a kitten in there. The crack between those rocks is barely big enough for your hand to fit into.” Biergut’s eyes twinkled. “Good idea, Otis. I’ll stick my hand in there.” “NO, Biergut!” Otis shouted. “Do NOT put your hand in there!” “I’m gonna do it,” Biergut sang. Otis mustered up his most authoritative voice. “Biergut, NO!” “Here I go!” “Noooo!” Otis’s warning trailed off as he watched his daredevil friend stick her hand between the rocks all the way up to her wrist. She turned to Otis and smiled. “See, it’s perfectly sa…” Suddenly, three squeaks emitted from the hole, followed by one big howl from Biergut. She ripped her hand out of the rocks and screamed at the top of her lungs. “It bit me!” The squeaking creature flew out of the hole, causing Otis to duck as it dive-bombed his head. “It’s a baby BAT!” “I’m bleeding!” Biergut shrieked. Suddenly, three more baby bats flew out from the hole, bombardiering Otis and Biergut’s heads. The two children flailed their arms and rocketed down the rock pile. “I’m going to die of rabies!” Biergut ran as fast as she could around the corner of the barn. “Doris! Help!” Otis roared around the corner of the barn behind her, but before he knew what was happening, he tripped over an old board hidden under some grass. He flew into the air, and as he came down toward the ground, stuck out his arms to catch himself. He looked in horror at his fate.
Unable to change the outcome, his right palm connected with a nail sticking out of the board. He didn’t feel anything as the rusty spike impaled his hand right through the center. He stared at the disaster, unable to put together in his head just exactly what happened. He faintly heard Biergut yelling for Doris. He looked up as she entered the house, then looked back at his hand. There it was, his hand skewered to the board. He gently tried to pry his hand off the nail. A hot, painful zinger shot up his arm. Nope. Not going to just pull it off, he thought. He gulped, trying to keep calm. But he was nailed to a board. Finally, he got his wits about him. “Doris!” he shouted. “Help!” Nothing. He tried to get up, but seeing as he’d never been nailed to a board before, he couldn’t immediately figure out how to stand up without ripping his hand off and causing pain and damage. “DORIS!” He knew she was probably involved with Biergut and her stupid bat bite. I told her not to put her hand in that hole. But what did she do? She did it anyway. And now she’s probably going to die of rabies while I’m nailed to a board like Jesus himself. Finally, the back door opened, and Doris stuck out her head and yelled, “Otis! Where are you?” “I’m here!” Otis shouted back. “By the barn!” “Stop messing around and get your butt up here!” Doris shouted. “We have to take Biergut to the doctor!” “I can’t,” Otis shouted back. “Why the Sam Hill not?” Doris screamed. “I’m nailed to a board!” A pause hung in the quiet air. “You’re WHAT?!” She tore out of the house and ran full speed to Otis. “Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh!” She screeched to a halt and dropped to her knees. “Oh, Otis! You’re nailed to a board!” “NO DUH, DORIS,” he barked. “I tripped and fell when I was running after Biergut and her stupid bat bite!” “Oh, dear Lord in heaven,” Doris whispered. About that time, the ’65 Ford Falcon owned by the oldest Swan child, Otho, came rolling in the driveway. “Otho’s here!” Doris shouted. “He’ll know what to do! You stay here!” “Where else am I going to go, Doris? I’m nailed to a board.” Otis retorted. Doris glared at him for a moment and ran off yelling, “Otho! Otho!”
Otho, Deanie, Cletis, Chuck, and Gladys all piled out of the car with several grocery sacks loading down their arms. “OTHOGETOVERHEREOTISISNAILEDTOABOARD!” Doris’s words tumbled out in a mass as she reached her siblings. The four boys and Gladys stopped and stared at Doris for several moments. “What?” Otho laughed. “I swear you said Otis was nailed to a board.” “I DID! HE IS!” Doris grabbed Otho’s arm and pulled. He quickly handed his grocery sacks to Deanie and ran with his sister to Otis. Doris dropped to her knees and pulled Otho down with her. “LOOK!” she pointed. Otho looked Otis’s hand. On the board. With a nail sticking out. “Holy hounds, Otis, what the Sam Hill did you do?!” “I tripped and fell on this board because stupid Biergut got a bat bite,” Otis replied. “If she wouldn’t have bothered those baby bats like I told her not to, this woulda never happened.” “What?” Otho voiced. “What about Biergut and a bat? Doris, what in the hell is going on?” Doris explained what happened as the other Swan siblings walked over to inspect the situation. “I was just about to call the doctor’s office to see what to do with Biergut and discovered Otis’s hand. What do we do?” “You can’t just pull it off, Otis?” “Gee, Otho, don’t you think I would if I could?” Otis snipped. “It hurts like hell if I move it.” Otho shot Otis a stern language warning and then ordered, “Doris, go in the house, call Doc Adams, and tell him about Otis and Biergut. Cletis, Glads, and Chuck, take the groceries inside and help Doris with Biergut. Deanie, you help me with Otis.” Everyone obliged. “Otis, I’m going to lift you up as Deanie holds the board and your hand, ok?” Otho said. “Ok, but remember it hurts if it moves,” Otis warned. He didn’t completely trust the two brothers known for handing out titty-twisters, noogies, and purple-nurples. “Oh, Otis, we’ll be careful,” Deanie assured. Otho stood behind Otis and bent over, carefully placing his hands under Otis’s armpits. Deanie leaned over and held Otis’s hand tight against the old board. “Ready?” Otho asked. “Ready,” Deanie and Otis said in unison. In one fluid motion, Otho hoisted Otis up to his feet while Deanie-
-held Otis’s hand against the board. The board stood two feet taller than Otis. Blood trickled out of the hole in Otis’s hand and started dripping down his arm. “Um, guys, it’s getting worse,” he pointed out. Suddenly, Doris burst through the back door and held it open as Chuck escorted a sobbing Biergut down the stairs and into the back seat of the Falcon. Cletis slid into the driver’s seat and revved up the engine. Gladys stayed on the stoop. “Doc is waiting for us,” Doris shouted. “I’ll grab Grandpa’s pickup so we can put Otis in the back with his board.” “Good thinking, Sis,” Deanie answred. Doris ran to the shed and wheeled Ed’s truck next to Otis. Deanie and Otho carefully helped their little brother and his board onto the bed of the truck. Deanie joined Otis, and Otho jumped in with Doris. “Glads is staying at the house just in case someone comes home early,” Doris breathed. She fell in behind the Falcon, and the caravan scooted down the gravel road to Doc Adams’s office in town. *** Getting Otis off the pickup bed without hurting his hand proved a monumental task, so Doc Adams climbed up on the bed and stood next to Otis. “Otis, you’ve done a lot of crazy things,” he snickered, “but this one takes the cake. What in Sam Hill were you doin’, boy?” Just as Otis started into his treacherous tale, Doc quickly ripped the board off of Otis’s hand. Otis stood staring at his now-freed hand, mouth wide open, but too shocked to say or do anything. Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt much. “C’mon, kid,” Doc said as he jumped off the pickup. “I’ll get you cleaned up.” Otis jumped down and followed Doc into his office. The rest of the crew fell in step behind them. Doc washed out Biergut’s wound first, slathered on a salve, wrapped it up, and promptly poked a tetanus shot in her arm. She howled, but quieted down when presented with a lime lollipop. Doc then cleaned Otis’s wound, slathered on a salve, wrapped it in a clean bandage, and shot Otis’s arm with a tetanus shot. Otis received a grape lollipop. Doc handed Doris two bottles of pills. “Antibiotics,” he explained. “Make sure Otis gets his three times a day for ten days, and that Biergut’s parents do the same for her. I’ll call out to your grandparent’s house later to check on them…and you.” “Yes, sir,” Doris said. “Thank you for seeing us. I’m just so embarrassed they got into this much trouble…and so quickly. They were only outside for twenty minutes!” “Oh, Doris,” Doc said. “This is standard for those two. Remember last fall when they ate the apples with the worms and got so sick? Your Grandma Helen had to haul them in here so I could work my magic and get them to stop vomiting. Those two are trouble with a capital T.” He chuckled and put his arm around Doris. “Kids will be kids. But I gotta tell you, it’s not every day I see one nailed to a board.”
Roots Sustainability of
I am thinking of my grandparents today. My grandmother holding fresh vegetables in her worn-thin bibbed apron, my grandfather in stiff line-dried khaki colored shirt and trousers, bent at the waist harvesting the rows of their garden while I, just a tiny tot, sit at their feet munching sweet peas in crisp pods. The fragrance and feel of warm humid earth lingering from the early morning dew, buzzing bees and chirping robins composing my first memories. I believe the hours in that garden created my indelible green thumb, and possibly led me to my career with a group of researchers dedicated to sustaining the earth’s green food. My grandparents were already quite elderly when I dropped into their lives. Their farm and many others in the fertile Duwamish River valley had been purchased by developers as Boeing Field expanded into Sea-Tac airport by the late 1940’s. Buying a small city lot in West Seattle, Grandpa constructed a kit house ordered from the Sears Catalog. The fenced back yard was a solid vegetable garden, conveniently providing me an outdoor playpen before learning to walk. When I grew longer legs, the fence was unable to hold me and I could usually be found down the alley in a neighbor’s warm pile of composting lawn clippings and decaying apples. I loved how it smelled. I was always safely returned to my proper residence, an early version of a neighborhood watch program. I was left in their care for the majority of my early childhood. My days were spent shadowing grandmother in the garden and kitchen, or out in grandpa’s toolshed wanting to hammer nails and get dirty so blue jeans and jumpsuits soon replaced ruffles and lace petticoats. In my pre-teens in the 1960’s, I was a bit too young to attend Woodstock or understand the political demonstrations and social revolutions filling the media. Instead, I was blissfully exploring nature in the familiar paths of Seattle’s parks and dragging my father to any undeveloped lot I thought might have a frog pond I could investigate. We shared many take-out lunches at the beach with the seagulls, where I could capture and release the tiny bullheads in the rocky tide pools. Through programs offered by the YMCA outreach, Girl Scouts, and various summer camps around the Pacific Northwest, I learned native plant identification, was made aware of conservation practices and even the ancient ways of the indigenous hunter-gatherers. The Seattle School district utilized an old CCC camp at the base of Snoqualmie Pass. Camp Waskowitz provided fifth graders a whole week of outdoor education and my first overnights in the woods. It is one of only two remaining CCC Camps in the United States with original buildings standing and I believe still offers outdoor education programs.
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My respect for the balance found in the natural world became my spirit song. So by the 70’s, it was not surprising that I spent a few years exploring the self sufficient lifestyle brought to light in the then popular Foxfire books and Rodale Press publications. The Whole Earth Catalog became known as a counterculture publication. Things like overpopulation and food scarcity were serious conversations shaking the security we knew as youth and presented questions of what we could do to help things go in a better direction. How could we not use up all the natural resources our planet needed to remain in balance? Yes, this was brought to light in the 70’s. This is not new boys and girls. I spent several years off the grid, developing a remote piece of acreage, sharing a common goal and hand callusing labor with three other likeminded people. I learned how little one can have and still be truly content. I found that working together, sharing the tasks, felt natural and filled my need for unity as well as my self-worth. Simple virtues revealing themselves in a simple life. We had not experienced the labor aspect of life, as previous generations had. We had only been told stories of the difficulties and we thrilled at the chance to get a taste of the challenge to exist without the power company or other utilities and labor saving devices. Ours was notably a transitional state of existence. Eventually each one of us were called to new chapters in our lives with a keen awareness that the back to the land movement was not going to slow the gears of the munching machine of progress that was in motion. I married and we started raising our family in a small town in S.E. Alaska. My husband was involved in the timber industry. It was an ongoing lesson in politics. Sustainable forest management practices were effectively carried out to a very high level of success. There were endless restrictions to address the impact on wildlife, endangered species and the environment. I became aware that management of any type of large scale crop must negotiate and resolve many conflicts. I learned other lessons, too. How to laugh at my failure to raise a garden for a family of three in a rainforest. Sunflowers require sun and beans can actually mold on the vine. When it does not rain, there will be no water in the cistern tank for household use. Conserving water meant throw the dish water to the garden, toilet flushes only when imperative, and forget those baths. When we were close to running out, we transported water in a waterbed liner positioned in the bed of the pick-up truck, filling it to maximum capacity down at the city docks. Thankfully, it usually DOES rain in a rainforest. The wind gusts could drive rains sideways at 85 mph and not be classified as a hurricane. But the logging industry thrived. The network of isolated islands have been growing giant rain soaked cedar trees a very long time. In many places with no one witnessing the cycle of life, death, decay, reseeding and new growth that has repeated itself for hundreds of years. Keep in mind, to harvest trees on islands, the center of activity is in float camps.
Author on porch of bark-sheathed remote cabin 1977.
This translates to air taxis, helicopters and maritime travel. The elements were unpredictable and at times, life threatening. The treasure of living there was that we became part of a community. It was amazing to truly feel part of a whole and enjoy the honest exchange of sharing and kindness that existed to help one another. I witnessed environmentalists and logging families respect one another’s choice of livelihood and co-exist. It reinforced my faith that people can work together for the common good, and not necessarily share a common cause. The word unity is a crucial part of the word community. It was a sad day when we had to say good-bye to Alaska, but the choice to leave was for the best interest of our growing family, now totalling three sons. It was time to put away the rain gear and muck boots. The boys needed sunlight. My desire for a better climate for growing boys and gardens was satisfied upon arriving here on the sunny Palouse in 1994. Entire days of sun! Give me the shovel and get out of my way. I planted a 50’ by 50 foot garden the first spring. I remember clearly, my surprise the first time I left the water on too long in the garden and sunk so deep into the path that I lost my shoe with a loud sucking sound in the jello-like mud. Again, humbly proving I had more to learn. I did not understand the uniqueness of the Palouse Loess soil. Finding other gardeners led me to the many active organizations providing educational opportunities. So many. I was partial to the master gardeners, knowing that two WSU faculty members were responsible for beginning the extension program on the west side of the state about the time I graduated from high school there. A unified mission to present science based instruction to volunteers to promote stewardship can now be found in all fifty states. Stewardship was a new term to me, but it was easily understood when I looked out across the buttes and farmland sharing the color changes of the seasons. The original landscape here is as unique as the soil. It is not just dried grass and brush. Like learning the forest plants, once I learned the names of Big Sage, Mock Orange, Syringa, Rabbitbrush, Yarrow, Hackberry, Woods’ Rose, Red Osier Dogwood, they all became mine. I look for them anytime I am out on a walkabout to greet them, say hello and shake their hand. I learned their Latin names working in a native plant nursery in Garfield County that supplied plants for reclaiming wildlife habitat and stream restoration. It was like growing food for a wildlife food bank, and a big one. I was unaware of the great efforts made by private and federal agencies to ease the pressure from the changes we are witnessing and in some cases causing. Native plants survive in extreme conditions, growing on wind blown ridges and dry drainages, and being pruned quite aggressively by wildlife. The task of planting them was much more difficult than I anticipated, using augers and pick axes before shovels and trowels.
As a rule, the shields placed around them are to discourage rodents and heavy grazing until some size can be achieved. Putting them in place is tedious and time consuming. I found my dream job on an organic farm. It was everything I loved all in one place. Herbs, flowers and vegetables, made up the bountiful shares of a CSA (community supported agriculture) program and were showcased at the local farmers market. I loved the social interaction being a vendor at the market. The smell of the fresh Artisan bread in the neighboring booth, inviting my ripe juicy heirloom tomatoes and big leaf basil over for a caprece sandwich, if someone would bring the fresh mozzarella. The success of the farm was attributed to the farm manager knowing the best varieties to grow and techniques for the Palouse’s soil and growing seasons, a good source of organic compost and access to good land. Yes, about that. The saying that history repeats itself became true, as the location of the six acre farm was to be abandoned to allow for the re-positioning of the Moscow-Pullman airfield. Again, airfield versus farmland. It would also be the demise of well established orchards. I thought of the farms and fruit orchards along the Snake River lost to the lakes created by the Little Goose and Lower Granite Dams and felt that munching machine of progress devouring things cherished. This scenario however, turned out differently. Alternate locations were secured for the orchards and the organic farm within a short distance. Ever thought about moving a farm? Perennial herbs, berry bushes, and rhubarb corms were dug up and loaded on trucks, as were yards and yards of drip irrigation lines, rolls of weed barrier and row cover, bricks to keep row covers anchored, dismantled hoop-houses, and outbuildings. As per dictated for organic certification requirements; new perimeter trees, evergreen and conifers were planted, soil samples taken, history of possible chemicals used in previous five years researched and documented, swales created and planted to ease erosion, perimeter fences and secure gates built, underground irrigation completed and hoop houses re-erected before ground was broken and the new plots were established. The new farm incorporated more acreage, larger crops and an expanded consumer base. Thanks to consumers voting with their dollars, there is a huge network of dedicated small farmers throughout the US providing this wonderful access of “Farm to Table” . As my career finale, I have retired from working for an entity responsible for growing seed for the global research community. Seed collected from around the globe and introduced to the soil here on the Palouse. The seed is then harvested and stored in cold storage facilities. A library of seeds! I quite literally made my entrance in the field, with weed management. When I say weed management I am referring to the hoe and I traveling down each side of the-
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-rows that were most certainly half a mile long. The land that these test plots covered was not the typical square feet flagged off in a field, but acres. Thousands of plants grown specifically for the seed, requiring much care to keep it pure. The planting and harvesting is done by hand and identification and labeling must be accurate. The curators of the seed focus on what is called biological diversity. This diversity is essential for plants to adapt as our environmental conditions change. Their research assures that plants will continue to be available for human consumption as well as for wildlife, livestock, and precious pollinators. I had fallen into the world of germplasm conservation! Following several years of truly enjoying my days out in the field eating dust and wiping salty sweat from my suntanned brow, I tarried in the seed cleaning process for a decade before moving into the cataloging and storage component of the program. I sent thousands of packets of seed requests to destinations in the US and internationally, distributing some of the very seeds I had helped maintain and process in the previous years of my career. Filling orders from endless drawers of multiple species within a genus I realized there is so much more to that packet of seeds I bought from the catalog or garden store with the colorful picture on it. I will forever regard a seed in a different light. As for the new language of botanical nomenclature I have gained from the experience, I wonder why it is not offered in our earlier education in more public schools. I remember pestering the principal of my middle school to offer Latin as a language choice. Thinking back though, it may have been because I was failing my French class. As I reviewed the different tasks I performed while working with the agricultural research department, I recognized that in my small contributions I was in fact involved in the efforts of curbing the threat of food scarcity. This echo from my past was forgotten in the din of daily struggles. But given time to step away and view the bigger picture, I see that all of my early experiences navigated me to my post. I now understand the phrase; follow your heart. I think I did. Those passions that I carried along the path where always calling me. The love of nature, the respect for the planet, the need for community are the path markers that led to an awareness of my social responsibilities. Now that I have left the work day behind, with a pile of maps and occasionally the robot lady on my phone, I will navigate my jeep to the many points of interest to be checked off my list. National Parks, historical sites, museums, and well maintained gravel roads to public lands are calling. I will enjoy finding fresh sustenance from local farmers’ markets along the way, and know that my dollars are votes for stewardship and community. I am the only one to determine what goals are sound and attainable for me, personally. We are free to seek goals that reward us with peace of mind. The Spanish translation for retiree is “jubilado” and I love how the word suggests one to be jubilant in their freedom. This freedom for me means finding solace away from the madding crowds. I hope to encounter myriads of boomers and young people alike, outside and away from routines and obligations and returning to where nature restores their balance. I will know you when we meet. You are nature lovers who have either new found or well established reverence for the wonders of our ecosystem. I will be looking for you. I want proof that there is an extensive system of well established “roots” of sustainability that have grown a healthy forest of us to protect and enjoy this amazing planet.
Sorting harvested, dried seed from debris for storage.