Home&Harvest May June 2021

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I have kept this thought close to my heart for awhile now, but I feel it’s time to share it, and that maybe more people are ready to hear it: Always have a heart full of love and always be full of forgiveness. You know, I consider it a downright blessing to be creating and printing this issue when at this same time last year, I was making that huge 222 page online only issue. Coronavirus had just begun to take hold. I knew the virus would be damaging but worse than that, I knew it would change people’s hearts. I worried mine would close from fear and anger. I wonder if you worried yours would, too. But now that time has passed and we’re moving back into the nostalgia of the summer sun, it almost seems like everything is getting back to normal. For some, normal never changed. Others completely changed their lives on behalf of the safety for others. It doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do. It only matters how much you love, and how much you forgive. It’s easy to be angry- to be fearful. It’s easy to hold on to the past or to regret. It takes courage, true courage to forgive. It means you have to heal wounds inside yourself, carry on without apologies you might never get, or understand that things might fundamentally be broken without the slightest chance of change. But that is when you have the boldest opportunity to grow. All around me, I see such contrast of loving and angry people. Everyone wants to be heard, validated, to feel safe and that they belong. To feel that each of us are accepted. And this is not a hard thing to do. It’s a loving thing to do. And the reason I have always included things like vegan recipes, reloading, tarot and prayer is because I believe we all have gifts to bring to the community of life. Not one person’s gifts are more valid or precious than another’s- yet so many of us are under the false spell believing that they are. It’s simply not true. You are equal, and nothing more. I write this to you because I feel we’ve gotten a little out of balance. If you’re tender hearted, you might have lost faith in seeing neighbors or friends say and do things that seem unforgiveable. Or maybe you don’t understand why you might have to care about someone you don’t even know. I’m telling you that the circumstances don’t matter, but the important thing is that you need to realize, reflect on and admit that even you, yes, you have needed and benefitted from grace from time to time. Now is the time to selflessly give it away. This life is short. Everyday you are given and shown lessons, gifts and opportunities to grow. Do so with an open heart. Even if it’s scary. I will be the first to admit that I am often overwhelmed by the world and all I feel I cannot do to better it. But there is solace in knowing that you have the power to positively affect the immediate world around you. That is why I encourage you to be the light for others- even when you don’t feel like it inside. Just try your best. It’s all that matters. Now is not the time to give up. This world needs your gentle and loving heart. Love,

Heather Niccoli Editor In Chief Home&Harvest Magazine

This issue is dedicated in loving memory to my uncle, Barry Evans.

10 mother nature 14 life changed in ‘33 20 challenge accepted 24 heidi’s book review 26 depression era onion burgers 32 kung pao shrimp 34 homemade hot dog buns 36 easy potato chips 38 vintage cherry chip cake 40 vegan dill pickle soup 42 home&harvest tarot 44 family game night 54 people of the palouse 58 reloadin joe 62 robinson’s park 72 the moon moves me 76 river journal

Mother Nature


Annie Gebel

Mother Nature has so much to teach us. She cycles through her year with lesson after lesson, whether or not we’re paying attention. I encourage you to do just that, though. Please take note of how nature is leading by example. Maybe you need more than good manners to truly tune in. So, here are a few reasons for you and the natural world around you to get reacquainted. First of all, nature is beautiful! Music is written about it. Art is created honoring it. It’s no wonder why, either. It is wonderous! I’ve had the opportunity to live all over the United States. I’ve lived in the humid heat of Southeast Georgia and the dry heat of New Mexico. I’ve been a short drive from both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. I’ve flown over the quilted mid-states and driven the interstates that part their fields. It’s all awe-inspiring in its own way – and that’s not even stepping foot out of our own country. So, looking around and enjoying the journey, rather than only be concerned about the destination or your phone, will allow you to appreciate the incredible gift that Mother Nature has for us – all that is around us. The more you look at nature, the more you’ll notice about how adaptive, impressive, and simply lovely it is. For example, think about nursery trees. When a tree falls (no, I don’t know if it makes a noise if no one is there to hear it), it becomes part of the rich base layer that everything grows out of. Saplings will sprout on it. Fungus will grow. Animals will call it home. It’s not ignored or forgotten by the rest of its environment – it becomes the environment and nurses the next generation of new growth. I don’t know about you, but I find that to be beautiful, and maybe a little extra credit in respecting our elders and seeking nourishment from them. If the sights around you aren’t enough to make you a student of nature – the sounds and scents are also quite a joy to take in. Many a person has been calmed by the lull of gentle waves gliding over the sand and taking out to sea all our worries. And if you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching a storm over the ocean, you know that crashing waves can take on a very different persona, leaving anyone watching breathless. Maybe you can recall the calls of birds, deep croaking of frogs, or rustle of a breeze in the trees. When we take a minute to focus on what we hear, perhaps we’ll hear something deeper in nature’s songs. Science has told us how scent is incredibly important, and marketing has used this to sell all sorts of things, from deodorant to laundry detergent, but nothing can beat the natural smells all around. Well, maybe not all the smells. Most of us probably can live without skunk smells. But what about that fresh, earthy after-rain scent? Or freshly mowed grass? Or spring blossoms? Or pine boughs or cinnamon? These are exactly the scents manufactured into candles sold from store shelves, but they’re also outside too and can bring up whole ranges of emotions and memories for us.

I propose that anything that can connect with our senses like nature does is worth paying attention to! When we do, we can notice the subtle ways Mother Nature imparts her intelligence to us. The cycle of the seasons gives us rather obvious clues to a way we can move through life easily, too. A rotation of new dreams and beginnings can bring forth an active time to play and do and laugh and work. Following that we can enjoy the products we create, the abundance that we earn, what grows from our ideas and efforts. And, at last we can rest a bit, letting the dust settle, giving our brains a rest and chance to grow as well as feeling the stirring of new notions beginning to swirl– bringing us back to the beginning again. This is the way of the seasons – spring, summer, autumn, and winter. It can be repeated in our days, our weeks, our years. It’s a perfect and beautiful cycle. And not to be rushed. Each season has its place and purpose, for nature and for us. Of course, it’s not always that simple is it? In our daily routines we have interruptions like phone calls, fire drills, kids who pester with their constant needs and questions. Even during the best planned weeks, we’re likely working around meetings, appointments, and other people’s schedules. Looking at the whole year, there are birthdays, holidays, funerals, and illnesses. Overshadowing all of this are the really big things that throw us completely off like car accidents, cancer, or self-isolation and quarantine due to a pandemic. Don’t worry, though, Mother Nature can lead us through these situations, too. She has her own storms to deal with. In fact, her biggest issues tend to overlap with ours – hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, to name a few. After each of these disruptions to her seasonal cycles, we see nature bounce back. New sprouts will form in the spring. Vines and trees will grow around and through debris left uncollected. Animals that scurried away will come back. And we can do this all too. Like the best of teachers, we can enjoy learning from and through Mother Nature. We can appreciate her offerings, take in all the ways she smiles at us, soak in her wisdom. And even when we try to prove her wrong or ignore what we’ve learned, she’ll gladly welcome us back and help us to remember the lessons we’ve forgotten. And I think it’s time we accepted her offer to come back. Don’t you? And just so you don’t think I’ve forgotten my manners, I’ll add this - pretty please.

IN ‘33 LIFE CHANGED In the last issue of Home & Harvest magazine I talked about Pvt. Henry Lorang of the White Spring Ranch in Genesee serving in World War I in England and France. After seeing the original Armistice Day first hand in a French camp, Henry returned to marry his sweetheart, Marguerite Tobin. He wanted to build a little bungalow for his new wife. All while journaling the whole process of course. After his father, John Lorang passed away in 1926 and his mother Mary moved to Spokane 2 years later; Marguerite and Henry moved into the big farmhouse with their four children. Almost immediately the Great Depression hit.

People in Genesee and elsewhere bartered for goods, raised pigs, chickens and more food in gardens. Henry and Marguerite traded eggs for the children’s birthing bills. Tires on people’s autos wore out and some drove on the rims. One local person put wagon wheels on his car. It was the price of wheat and the bank closures that scared everyone. The Genesee Exchange Bank closed without any coverage for depositors. Mary Lorang, Henry’s mother, lost $100 in the Genesee Exchange just when taxes were overdue on the farm. Marguerite’s parents lost quite a bit as well. People got very good at bartering, so when the price of wheat went down to .25 because of competing farmers; Henry Lorang talked to his neighbors. From the Genesee News of August 1932, a newspaper preserved here: “Henry Lorang, Genesee, pleaded with the large number of farmers in attendance to hold their wheat in an effort to obtain better prices that more money could be applied on their outstanding debts, and again put the farmer on a purchasing basis, which would relieve the number of men in the jungles from ekeing out a daily existence from door to door and from refuse barrels, as it is said that are doing in some centers. Farmers are willing to begin buying again, especially machinery, lumber and labor, said Mr. Lorang…..Charles Schooler moved that Genesee farmers organize to hold their wheat until it reached a price of 75 cents per bushel at Genesee or for a period of 60 days.”


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In April of 1933, Henry writes that the hospital room for the birth of Mary Alice was $30 per week. The delivery was $7.50 and Medicine $1.68. The total hospital bill of $60.74 for one baby was paid for by 12 cases of eggs and 80 lbs. of lard. Then Henry received a Sheriff ’s letter asking for the back taxes of $11.77 or else items would have to “attached and sold.” Written by Henry on this Sheriff ’s letter of Oct. 11, 1933. “I was really hard up at this time. But times got better under Franklin D. Roosevelt.” It had gone too far. But life changed for everyone in 1933. New programs were afoot and ideas were flowing in from the top. President Roosevelt. Men were beginning to be hired for something called the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps, and started to build camps; each with a well. The “Tree Troopers” planted trees on the hilltops and repaired dirt roads and sidewalks. Around Genesee, the men cleared Cow Creek and worked on the Genesee School Gymnasium; “the roof and ceiling were strengthened and the front has been remodeled for more seating capacity.” From the Dec. 1933 Genesee News. Reading rooms were set up. Telephone lines were strung. Parks were created all over the country. It worked. Men were paid 55 cents an hour and skilled labor $1.25. A huge sum at the time. Then there was the AAA. The AAA, Agricultural Adjustment Act, was the unheard of program of paying farmers to not grow wheat. The idea was to learn how to manage the price drops from a glut on the market. Everything was an experiment and ideas were busting out all over. Henry was so excited to get his very first Agricultural Adjustment check for not growing wheat, that he hand copied it, including the designs on the check. It was a lifesaver in many ways as the White Spring Ranch farm was preserved. Mary Lorang, who was in care of her three girls, Martha, Viola and Christine up in Spokane was also relieved as the farm taxes were paid. The Genesee News of Dec. 1933 reads: “WHEAT ADJUSTMENT CHECKS MAY ARRIVE BY CHRISTMAS” “Wheat growers have been asked to have patience with the government in the matter of completing payments for wheat acreage reduction. The growers of wheat, like most farm commodities, will not be compelled to change their practice for they have shown patience to the nth degree for several years. However, Paul A. Eke, Moscow, chairman of the Idaho State Board of review under the Agricultural Adjustment Act; announced Saturday in Boise that, “Christmas checks of about 2 million dollars will be mailed to Idaho wheat farmers in the next 3 weeks. The checks are advance payments to farmers for wheat they will not raise next year through agreements with the government to decrease production.”

Cover photo: Henry in middle of tall wheat at the time Top photo: Henry Lorang and farm workers Photo, left: Genesee News, 1933 Photo, right: Eggs for Lois birth Photo, left, next page: Henry Lorang with some of the children Photo, top right, next page: Hand drawn wheat adjustment check AAA, by Henry Lorang Photo, bottom right, next page: Eggs for Mary Alice birth


May/June 2021 17

In 1935, another chance was taken. As a part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the federal government hired more than 10,000 artists to create works of art all over the country— murals, theater, fine arts, music, design and writing. Henry Lorang was doing his part. He journaled the entire story and preserved letters and photographs for the next several years. Henry didn’t know it at the time, but his writings fit right in with works of art being created during the Depression. His stories are full of life and hardships. Especially since his lungs had been damaged during WWI; Henry enjoyed writing much more than farming. But he did his best with the farm and wrote in his journals. Slowly but surely, these writing, journals and letters are being typed by U of Idaho and WSU students and thanks to grants from Idaho Humanities Council and Latah County Arts & Culture; they will be available on our website at www.WhiteSpringRanch.org and also our Facebook page.

Challenge accepted by Keith Crossler

Something I love and will always love about the fire department is the friendships I’ve made. These guys are just like me in the fact that we come together to talk, argue, train, and of course, fight fires together. Sure, we have our highs and our lows. But at the end of the day, these guys are some of the best people I’ve ever met. I would trust my life with any one of them. They know what they’re doing and I’m confident that they feel the same about me. It does seem that we are constantly pushing each other as well with a great, “if they can do it, so can I” attitude. It’s almost like we challenge each other. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes it just happens. Like most times, the tones go out for a call and you feel this immediate rush of adrenaline. I can’t really describe it other than a mix of anxiety and excitement all at the same time. As this typical evening was, the call went out for a car on fire in the middle of a field. Normally one wouldn’t be that excited for a car fire, but with that extra twist of in the field, you’re wondering almost immediately, why in a field? I rolled up to the station and slipped into my gear. My buddy Devon was right there with me. We jumped in attack engine 39, a pumper, and headed out.

We were rolling from Station 3 on the north end of town. The call was east, out toward the landfill. We knew we had a longer trek, but we would be there quickly. Now an engine can usually handle a car fire without any other resources. The Rural engines are built with larger water tanks than what a typical engine would have. This one holds 1,000 gallons as compared to a city pumper that only holds around 500 gallons. Due to the nature of it being in a field, our Command Officer requested a water tender come as well. The crew started filling out for the tender about the time we went out of city limits on the east end of town. As we passed the golf course, we could see the faint glow over the hill. At that point, we both thought it might be something bigger than just a car. Just another half mile down the road, we could see if from the highway. I thought to myself, I wonder how the heck we’re going to get to where that is.

RED toc nS ho kP / to tan a

Cars can be tricky with all their little compartments. This was an older SUV with the extra seats and cargo in the back. So, it took a little more digging than normal. When the driver was interviewed, it seemed to be a case of driving a little too fast through the field and a possible shorted wire from the stereo system that was bouncing around in the back of the car. They tried to put it out first, but it got away from them. Of course being a couple of miles out of town, it just gave the fire more time to grow to where it was a total loss. In true firefighter fashion, we sure had a good time poking fun at each other over the situation when Tender 37 got there. Recalling how it went down, the challenge unknowingly being issued, then immediately being accepted, and accomplished without hesitation. We seamlessly working together, knowing our capabilities and equipment so we can do the best job possible. All while being Volunteers. It really is a kick in the pants and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

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“Tender 37 to Command, we can’t get around your truck, it’s blocking the road.” His response was so simple. “39 did”. Boom! Challenge accepted. With no response on the radio, he mashed down the accelerator and wiggled around just the same as I did. Pulling up to us in the engine, he stopped and the crew all jumped out. The driver and I worked together and got the hose hooked up to supply me with the water. The rest of the guys went up and worked with Devon on extinguishing the fire. Fortunately, the field was still pretty green and the fire wasn’t spreading out further than about 5 feet from the car. It did take some time, but we were able to bring the fire under control.

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Maybe I said it out loud, because at that exact moment, one of our firefighter’s wives came on the radio. They lived out that way and she was happy to help out giving us directions. It was phenomenal. As she directed us to it, I took the left into Woodland Hills and ran straight up the road, around the corner at the top, then straight up to the access road that ran to the top of the ridge. I had no idea that the access road was even there. Without her guidance, I can only imagine the time that would’ve been added to our response. I’m sure we could’ve found a way in, but it was really great to just have directions instead of trying to find the best place to just go into a field with no set road to follow. Our Command Officer was right in front of us. As he pulled up towards the car, he pulled off the road, but was still blocking about a third of the road. With a quick flick of the wheel, I eased around him, dipping the truck off the road just enough to sneak around to pull up to the car. It was fully engulfed at this point. Devon put his air pack on while I flaked the line off for him. As he was now ready, I charged the line giving him the needed water to start cooling down the car. Just as the water started flowing, I heard the water tender on the radio. They too were on scene.


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My name is Heidi Pederson. I am a single mother who works and lives in Pullman, WA. I grew up with a grandma who was an English teacher and volunteered at the Moscow Public Library. Through my grandma I gained a passion for reading. I hope to instill the same passion in my daughter. Over the last year reading has really helped me get through the pandemic. Through reading I have been able to dive into an alternative universe and become part of the book, at times helping me clear my head of the challenges the pandemic has presented. I will read just about any type of genre. Some of my favorites are thrillers, mysteries, criminal, law, and historical fiction. I was recently gifted a membership to Book of the Month Club that provides a wide selection of books to choose from. Through this membership I have been able to read books that I wouldn’t normally read and have found some of my favorite books. I look forward to sharing reviews of various books with you and who knows, maybe you will find your next favorite book through one of them. Happy Reading! Imagine, if you will, your daughter is about to graduate from high school. Your husband of more than twenty years has a solid acting job, you have a solid voice over job, and your best friend is a wellknown actress. Your life is finally where it should be. Until one day you are looking for a lost photo and stumble upon an envelope containing a lost wedding ring. A ring that was supposed to be at the bottom of a lake 1000’s of miles away. What would you do? How would you process this? This is exactly where we find ourselves with Flora, the main female protagonist, in Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. Flora must navigate what she thought she had understood about her marriage, her friendship, and her life.

Do we truly know about the events that led us to where we are in our lives today? Do we put on a facade for the outside world to believe, while secretly inside closed walls we are struggling?

Flora and Julian struggled for years to stay afloat in the busy landscape of Manhattan; raise their daughter Ruby, and try to keep Good Company, Julian’s small theater company, afloat. When offered the chance to move to Los Angeles and earn a better living, be closer to Margot, Flora’s borderline narcissistic best-friend, and give Ruby a better life, they take it. The reader finds Flora reflecting on various events in her life that have led her to the current state of affairs. She must ask herself what happened the summer of the lost ring? Was her life and relationships as solid as she thought they were? What does she want now?

Margot, Flora, and Ruby’s relationships are ones I found myself really enjoying. Sweeney captures the bond of a mother and daughter while also capturing the teenage angst of trying to leave family but yet maintaining some thread and tie of still needing them. I have some pretty close female friends that are alternative mothers to my daughter. After reading this book it truly made me question how those friendships would hold up to the sort of trust broken between Margot and Flora. Would I want my daughter to still have a bond with them? Would I be okay with my daughter still turning to them? Without giving away the ending I found myself pleased with how Margot maintained dignity in her friendship with Flora, while also maintaining a bond with Ruby. Even though a clear line of trust had been broken. Made me see some hope for redemption.

With humor, imagery, and the perfect amount of emotion Sweeney manages to take the reader on an endearing ride through the lives of all the characters. The book is very character driven in terms of each chapter being a different character’s point of view, all circling back to Flora. Sweeney is even able to write about Los Angeles, Manhattan, and Stoneham in such a way that the reader begins to think they are supporting characters in the background of this book. She has the ability to draw the reader in and feel the same emotions the characters are feeling, while asking ourselves if that is how we would be handling the situation. I thought this book was poignant in examining female friendships, marriages, and your overall sense of self. Do we know everything there is to know about the one we sleep next to every night?


Sweeney makes a quote in the book that I really resonated with; she says, “no one ever really knew what went on behind closed doors and that people’s marriages took on a different hue when they had an audience.” Looking from the outside in on a marriage you may think the couple is one to be idolized, perfect or even has it all together. In this book it is even mentioned to Flora that her marriage appears to be perfect. She struggles to figure out where or when it all changed.

This book delves into marriages, female friendships, mother-daughter bonds, relationships in general and how a person navigates all these things while trying to maintain some composure and dignity. This book is about grown-ups becoming even more grown-up and having to face things they believed only others faced. I rated this 5 books out of 5 books. I have already recommended it to my close friends and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fast paced, character driven book that makes you really look at the relationships in your life and if they are what you thought they were. Until next time fellow readers. Happy Reading!

May/June 2021 25

Flank to Flame Cooking Depression-Era Onion Burgers by Tony Niccoli My Gammy could cook! I don’t just mean gourmet ingredients and the poshest preparations. Grandma could cook poor-folk food and make it taste as good as anything you’re likely to find being served by a highly awarded chef in a top restaurant today. And growing up, a lot of what she was cooking was coming from what she was canning. Every year, we would help (or get in the way) as Gammy tended a garden that took up most of her backyard. Tidy rows of every vegetable and herb that you could grow in Ohio were lovingly planted, weeded, and harvested. Fruit trees were cared for and more jars went into the boiler for the overabundance. Gammy’s house was where you got to eat fresh peaches in the middle of winter, crisp beans long after the season was over, and homemade strawberry jelly the year around. Nothing was ever wasted, and every meal was a feast with main courses and sides that had often spent hours in a pressure cooker, double boiler, or braiser pan. When a condiment or staple ran out, there was always a replacement already waiting on the shelves by the breezeway, neatly organized next to the rows of cans with homemade labels. Dinners with Gammy are the best I’ve ever eaten. I learned later that it was the depression that had taught my grandma the values of self-reliance, thriftiness, and preparation. Food was carefully stored because tomorrow the money might run out. Everything was grown when it could be instead of purchased, and nothing with any possible use was discarded. It was a generation that still knew how to darn a sock – still saw value in maintaining what you had. But it wasn’t a burden or disappointment to share in that way of life. We weren’t eating unappetizing food for the sake of economy. In reality, you could have told me that it all cost a fortune and based on taste I would have believed it. As more of us spend this extra time we now face with thoughts of the skills we wish we had paid more heed to when we still had the chance, when we ask neighbors to sew us simple cloth masks because we snickered at the idea of mastering an antiquated practice like operating a sewing machine, when victory gardens pop up in every yard and Instagram abounds with images of people’s tomato starts, when we rush home with takeout hoping to arrive while its still warm because our favorite restaurants have been forced to close their seating, and when we all find ourselves trying to eek out a little more from what we already have, now more than ever, I want to finally try a recipe that has been on my to-do list for years. I’m doing it honor of my grandma – and yours – and all the generations that made do with so much less that what we take for granted. Today, we are cooking Oklahoma Onion Burgers – Okie Dokies. They are from the depression, and not just the depression, but from the Dust Bowl no less- born in the height of the poverty there. But here’s the thing, if I had just written this article a few years ago, you’d have no idea. I could pass these off as high-society’s newest delicacy. I could charge $25 a burger at a fancy restaurant for these and then tell you that fries cost extra. And after you tasted one, you wouldn’t even flinch. You might just buy two. These aren’t just poor-folk food, they aren’t just thrifty and a clever way to use less meat. These are real burgers that pack real flavor. Before we get to the meat preparation, lets get a few onions.

You want to use sweet onions, and you want to use a lot. I used about a half of a bulb for each burger and paired that to ¼ pound of ground beef but that can vary based on the size of your onions. The pile of onion should actually be larger than the ball of meat for the burgers. If I just lost you – please – believe me this is worth a try. I have always liked sautéed onions or grilled onions on burgers so for me it was a no-brainer, but Heather, who doesn’t always like hers that way was just as impressed. So why the mountain of onions? Because they’re cheap! They were then and they are now. And for a Route 66 burger stand in Oklahoma, faced with a rising cost of beef, and a drive to keep burgers at a nickel, there wasn’t much choice except to get creative. I used a grater, but you could also do it with a mandoline. Try to get the onion strips as thin as possible and then use a towel to squeeze out the excess water. For the burger prep, we are not going to do the normal patty style I recommend for a regular patty – instead make a loosely pressed ball with ¼ pound of ground beef. You could up this to 1/3 for each burger, just make sure to use more onion to keep the appropriate balance. These burgers are designed to be cooked on a flat-top so you can easily make them in a pan in your kitchen. But that’s just not how I do things. So at my house, it’s a cast iron pan on the grill outside. I heated it to medium temp, with the pan on the grill so it had a lot of stored heat before the burgers went in. When I was ready to cook, I started with a healthy drizzle of olive oil, tossed in my two burger balls, and immediately smashed them as flat as possible. I know – long time readers are cringing – I’ve told you many times not to ever do this on a grill, and I do still hold by that advice. But with the inclusion of the cast iron pan, we have essentially created a cook-top. Our fats, and the delicious juice that will give the burger flavor has nowhere to escape, so it won’t just be wasted on your lower grill area creating a massive flair-up and dry burger this time. Go ahead, just this one time, press, press, press away. When you think its flat enough, push just a little more. Once they are flat, hit the top with a heavy dousing of salt and pepper. Allow them to cook for a few minutes on this side – I did about 2 minutes on my grill but that pan was pretty hot so your time may vary just a little. When I checked them, I was just starting to see a little bit of a cook to the top side and decided this was the perfect time to add my onion. I built two big mounds on the flat burger patties and then smashed the onion down into the meat. You want to create a single, cohesive, mixed burger patty – not just a burger on bottom with a heap of onions on top. With a good spatula, and a lot of force you should be able to drive them completely into the burger. The seared meat on the bottom surface will still be in direct contact with the pan and getting a great crust, but the rest will become a heavenly mix of shaved onion and ground beef. At this point, I gave them just a little more salt and pepper and closed the lid again to wait.

About two or three minutes later I gave another check and tested one to see if it would easily release. With just a little spatula wiggle I was able to get it to let go of the pan, so I knew it would be ready to flip without leaving my perfect char behind. I turned both patties so that the smashed onion side was down, gave another quick pinch of salt and pepper, and then closed the lid to let them finish the cook. This side got a little over two minutes, and then I opened the lid again and hit them with a slice of cheese. No, that wasn’t on the original recipe for the standard burger, but I decided to give it a try for my first cook – to be honest I was still a little skeptical and wanted to make sure they were at least enjoyable. I put my buns on the grill for a quick toasting after adding the cheese, and about 1 minute later everything was ready to come off and rest. For plating I followed the original recipe exactly – a plain hamburger bun, a few thinly sliced pickles, and some yellow mustard. Nothing more. Other than the cheese, I really wanted to get as close to an authentic depression burger as possible. And let me just say – I was amazed! These might just be my new favorite burger. The onion sweetens the flavor and adds a great depth, the tang from the yellow mustard cuts in effortlessly, and the crunch and acid from the pickle round out a perfect bite. In fact, if you were to serve one of these without telling someone that it was an Oklahoma Onion Burger, they might not even catch it. The deep crust on the first side, and the full cook of the onion side, mixed directly into the beef, creates one seamless and enjoyable burger patty. It’s just a burger – with a kick of extra flavor. Definitely not something less because of its thrift and use of inexpensive ingredients to stretch it out. Instead, these are full-on flavor bombs that could stand up against any burger from any chef. In fact, the next two times I cooked them that week, we didn’t even use cheese. That’s right – two more depression burger cookouts quickly followed – we just couldn’t get enough. I’m not sure what will be going on in our community as things continue to evolve. Sometimes life hits us with things and it means that sometimes people are making more sacrifices and having to tighten their belts a little more. What I do know for certain is that I’ll still be making onion burgers, and I’ll be doing it for the taste. The thrifty part is just a little bonus that reminds me of my grandma. The fact that the onions I’ll be using by the end of summer are now growing in my backyard garden now is something that would make Gammy smile, too.

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This recipe is a childhood favorite of my wife, Brittany. The recipe was initially Kung Pao Chicken. Through the years, we have made the recipe our own by making some significant changes. We exchanged chicken for shrimp and modified the recipe to retain all of the flavors we loved and eliminate the sugars we don’t need. We hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. This recipe serves two people, but if you have more mouths to feed, it can easily double or triple to meet your needs. If you are lucky enough to have fresh shrimp, please use them. We use frozen shrimp a lot, and it works great. This recipe uses 20 shrimp. If you are using frozen shrimp, thaw your shrimp before starting the recipe. De-shell your shrimp and remove tails, if necessary. Next, rinse the shrimp in cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Set aside and prepare the marinade. Marinade: 1Tbs. Dry Sherry 1 Tbs. Cornstarch 1/2 tsp. Salt 1/8 tsp. white pepper 1/2 tsp. ground ginger Add 20 shrimp and stir to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes (at least) and prepare your cooking sauce. Cooking Sauce: 4 Tbs. Low Sodium Soy Sauce 2 Tbs. White Wine Vinegar 2 Tbs. Dry Sherry 3/4 cup Chicken Broth 4 tsp. Cornstarch Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Add the following ingredients: 1/2 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts Four small dried chili peppers, or more if you like it spicy! A hearty handful of green beans Stir until the peppers begin to char, remove from the pan, and set aside. Spray the large skillet once again and add the following ingredients: 1 tsp. minced garlic - or more if you like Shrimp - (from the marinade you made earlier) Cook the shrimp by stir-frying the mixture. Add the pepper and peanut mixture to the pan. Add two green onions. Add the sauce to the pan. Stir until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Smile and serve! This recipe becomes a complete meal when served over a bed of jasmine rice, cauliflower rice, or cut green beans. However, you choose to eat it, one word of caution: DO NOT EAT THE PEPPERS Remove the peppers before eating to avoid catching your mouth on fire. From our dinner table to yours, I hope you have a wonderful meal with yourself and your loved ones.


May/June 2021 33

Homemade Hot Dog Buns Emory Ann Kurysh Makes 10 What food epitomizes summer more than a delicious hot dog? There may be other great contenders, but when I think of warm weather and the outdoors, I always think of BBQs, picnics, and of course, hot dogs. So why not up your game and make your own hot dog buns? It is relatively simple and the end result is only that much more delectable. Ingredients: 2 tsp active dry yeast 1 cup warm water 3 tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt 1 large egg 1/4 cup butter + more to brush buns, melted 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour Oil (any kind), to grease Steps: 1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast, water, and sugar. Stir, cover with a tea towel, and let sit until frothy- about 15 minutes. 2. Add the salt, egg, butter, and flour. Mix until well-combined. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for 5-8 minutes. Then grease a medium bowl and place the dough inside, coating it with the oil. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour. 3. Punch down the dough. Place on a floured surface and form into a log. Cut into 10 equal pieces. Roll out each piece until it resembles a hot dog bun (about 6” long). Put the buns on a greased baking sheet. Cut a slit down the middle of each bun. Cover again and let rise for 30 minutes. 4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake the buns for approximately 20 minutes. Once browned, remove and brush with butter. Let cool before serving! Note: You can substitute a bit of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour, like I did. I always prefer to do a combination of the flours, so I switched 1 cup out for whole wheat. Feel free to substitute as much as you would like, or none at all!


May/June 2021 35

Easy Potato Chips

Emory Ann Kurysh These are so easy to make and taste amazing! I will say that they are a bit time-consuming (as you can only cook a few chips at a time), but do require so little ingredients and steps! Their smell will bring up happy memories of fair food. Pair with the homemade hot dogs buns and you’ve got yourself a winning dish! Ingredients: 5 large potatoes 2 litres ice water 5 tsp salt 1 tsp ground pepper 3 cups oil, any kind Steps: 1. Using a slicer or a very sharp knife, slice the potatoes into the smallest pieces possible. Put into a large bowl, adding the ice water and 3 tsp of salt. Let soak for 30 minutes-1 hour. 2. Heat a large skillet with oil over medium heat. After soaking the potatoes, pat dry. Very carefully drop the slices into the oil and cover with a lid so as not to burn yourself. They should begin to deep fry. Continue to move them around with a large spoon or spatula. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes on each side or until they are browned. Remove them from the oil, pat them dry, and top with salt and pepper. Serve once they have cooled!

Cocoa +Coffee


Sweet summertime is here! That means meet-ups with friends and family, sitting on the porch, road trips and more. We wanted to share our favorite sweet that you can make to bring to your warm and wonderful occasions! Enjoy our vintage cocoa-coffee brownies, sweet enough to tempt, but with a kick of coffee that will leave you smiling! From all of us at Troy Insurance, happy baking!

What you’ll need: 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 2/3 cup butter, cubed 1/4 cup water 1 Tbl instant coffee granules 3 cups chocolate chips, divided

4 eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract 1-1/2 cups all-purpose our 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 inch pan with parchment paper. la saucepan, combine the sugars, butter, water and In a large coffee granules. Gently bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Next, remove from heat and add 1.5 cups of chocolate chips and stir until melted. Let it cool slightly. Whisk eggs together until they foam. Slowly fold in the warm chocolate mixture and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the our, baking soda and salt then stir into chocolate mixture. Add the rest of the chocolate chips. Bake for 40-50 minutes, inserting a toothpick cho to check for doneness. Cool, then serve to your loved ones!

Moscow: 208-882-2814 | Lewiston: 208-743-3541

Vintage Cherry Chip Cake

Kitchen: Sara Raquet


1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 3/4 cup salted butter room temperature. 1 teaspoon vanilla 3/4 cup sour cream room temperature 1 egg- room temperature 4 egg whites- room temperature 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 cup milk 1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice 1 cup chopped maraschino cherries


1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups shortening 12 cups powdered sugar 5-6 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice Additional maraschino cherries with stems for decorating

Cake Instructions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8-inch round cake pans by lining the bottoms with circles of parchment paper and spraying the sides with cooking spray. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix well to combine. Add the egg and egg whites in two batches, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing well between each addition. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the maraschino cherry juice and milk, starting with 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then adding half of the juice and milk, then repeating with another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining juice and milk, and ending with the final 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Be sure to scrape the bowl between additions, and only mix just until everything is combined without overmixing. Stir in the chopped maraschino cherries. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, then bake for 22 to 24 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out with only a few crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the butter and shortening and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and beat well until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons of the maraschino cherry juice and beat again to completely incorporate. Repeat with another 4 cups of the powdered sugar, followed by 2 tablespoons of maraschino cherry juice, mixing well between additions. Add remaining 4 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth, adding an additional tablespoon of cherry juice, if necessary, to make a thick frosting that is just slightly sticky to the touch.


Level each cooled cake round by slicing off any domed tops. Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake plate and carefully spread 1 1/2 cups of the frosting over it in an even layer. Repeat with the second layer of cake and another 1 1/2 cups of frosting.Top with the remaining cake layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with most of the remaining frosting, reserving about 1 cup for piping onto the top of the cake. Decorate with extra maraschino cherries with stems, then slice and serve!


May/June 2021 39

Vegan Dill Pickle Soup Apparently Dill Pickle soup is suddenly sweeping the nation. When I first heard about it, I must admit that I was a little taken aback. I thought, that doesn’t sound good. Then I looked it up online. It looked a little better, but still not something that I wanted to eat. So I had no other choice but to make it! But rather than filling it with sour cream (an ingredient that I despise), I decided to make it me-friendly; which is vegan. I also decided to blend it, because in my opinion, it wasn’t as good or creamy when it wasn’t blended. So after all of those changes, how did it taste? Pretty darn good! But try it for yourself.

Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 2 tbsp oil, any kind 3 tbsp vegan butter (or regular if you’re not making it vegan) 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 6 cups chicken broth 2 cups almond milk (or regular milk) 1 cup dill pickle juice 6 large potatoes (red or yellow), felled and chopped 2 cups carrots, diced 1 1/2 cups dill pickles, diced 1 tsp dried dill 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 1/4 tsp chilli powder

Steps: 1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium. Throw in the garlic. Meanwhile, add the butter. Prepare the onion and throw it in as well. Continue to cook for a few minutes, then add the chicken broth, milk, and pickle juice. Prepare the potatoes, carrots, and pickles and add them as well. Cook over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Remove from heat. 2. In a food processor or blender, blend the soup completely. Then return to the pot and add the dill, pepper, and chilli powder. Mix well. Serve when it’s still warm, or refrigerate for up to 3 days and reheat as needed. Finally, enjoy! This soup is kind of a big dill. ;-)

Emory Ann Kurysh Home&Harvest

May/June 2021 40

Annie Gebel's Home & Harvest Tarot Reading The reading in the last issue was about where our energy goes when Spring is just starting preparing soil, planting seeds. Now, deep into Spring, we can see some of those seeds really taking root. We might also see that there’s more to plant or maybe some weeding that needs to be done. Those are the things this reading is about. In the last few weeks of Spring, what do you need to release to allow the sun to reach what you’d like to see grow? What haven’t you gotten around to planting, but you know it’s time? What can you see sprouting and growing? Think about these questions, whichever one or more speaks to you right now, and then choose one of the three cards in the picture. The three cards for this month’s reading are from Rachel True’s True Heart Intuitive Tarot. When you choose your card, take in the imagery and then read my interpretation and find the messages that are meant for you at this time.

Ace of Swords

The Ace is the first number in each of the minor arcana suits. As the first, it represents new possibilities or beginnings. The suit of swords has to do with the element of air and the concepts of the mind or intellect. In looking at the card, it can seem pretty simply at first - a hand holding a sword. Look closer, though. The framed portion of the background is an open sky with fluffy clouds drifting through. The frame itself is a rich and calm blue color speckled with crowns, swords and a few kinds of leaves. The sword has some decoration to it, both in the hilt and on the blade. The hand holding the sword even carries a few tattoos that could carry messages to you. So, what is this card telling you? If you’re facing a decision, you have the clarity to make it. If an opportunity is presented to you, you know, intuitively, if it’s a hell yes or a hell no. Your mind is clear and calm and you are able to communicate your thoughts well and easily. This lucidity may shine a clear light on what new seedlings you want to nurture and what is a weed. You may also be able to clearly discern where you have the ability to weed on your own and where you need to call in help. There can often be a lot of input and noise outside of ourselves and this card is reminding you to look within for the clarity you seek. YOU know and your knowing is the only voice you really need to listen to, even if the new beginning isn’t what everyone expects of you or if you enjoy the dandelions in your yard! Find confidence in knowing you hold the power, mental agility, creative ability, and critical thinking skills to make moves in the direction and support of your goals.

Queen of Discs

Discs is the minor arcana suit that is connected to earth, the physical world, our possessions, and practicality. The Queen is one of the highest cards and stands for subtle certainty and poise. When you look at this card closely, you can see the Queen’s expression, throne, and garments are all beautiful and practical. She is adorned, but not overly done up. She holds a large disc, which could easily represent abundance of spirit and finances. And on the ground in front of her, a snake and a rabbit play in the grass. In answer to the late Spring questions we were asking today, the Queen could be reminding you that when you have success and abundance, it’s best to pass it on. Whether your green thumb, knowledge you have, or actual financial abundance, think about how you can be generous and practical. You don’t get to be a successful queen by giving away everything, but you gain a lot by sharing what you don’t need. The stately queen could also be suggesting that the seeds have taken root and are growing well and you can relish in that progress. You don’t need to fret or worry all the time. And you need not be serious all of the time either. Take some time to sit, rest, or even frolic, knowing that you planted the seeds and cared for them as they took root. Soon it will be time to harvest, but for now - be content.

3 of Cups

Cups represent the element of water. This suit tells of emotions, feelings, and healing. Looking at this card, you can see there’s a celebration going on but the focus is on the three ladies in the forefront. They’re dressed simply yet colorfully and each is raising a chalice in cheer. The trees are decorated with flowers and lanterns and the sea in the background is still and calm. This card gives off the energy of Summer. So, perhaps you’re feeling that energy now, even before the season is truly upon us. No need to put off celebration and gathering, if you’re able and willing. In the days of Covid, you don’t want to be reckless and may find you need to be creative in celebrations, but perhaps where you are things are feeling less restrictive. Or perhaps the people you want to celebrate with are already part of your unmasked life and you can step into joy with them without worry. Whatever the case may be, the three of cups is often about the early celebration that something is working the way it should be even though a project hasn’t reached completion. You might also need the message that it’s time to let the daily grind be balanced by social interaction. Another possibility here is that a new experience may present itself or perhaps a new person is going to enter your life. In either of these situations, you’ll find reason to feel and show joy and optimism regarding these changes! Hopefully you’ve found a message that fits where you are now. If not yet, keep these in mind over the next few weeks and see what plays out. The cards always know what’s up, even when I don’t!


May/June 2021 43

Family Game Night Temple Kinyon I have distinct memories from my childhood watching ABC Wide World of Sports on Saturdays. After the morning cartoon marathon each week, the sports show came on with us kids glued to the screen if we weren’t otherwise occupied. We only had five tv stations to watch in the 1970s, so a lot of Wide World of Sports flooded the screen on Saturday afternoons at the Anderson household. The opening montage for Wide World of Sports included clips from some great sports moments and the famous Jim McKay announcing over majestic music. “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.” The agony of defeat spot featured a skier careening down a steep slope and crashing over the top of a jump in a flurry of legs and skis. I just knew that guy broke every bone in his body as he slaughtered the advertising banner on the ski jump and then took a bounce or two off the hard snow below. I don’t think I fully understood the actual meaning of the words “the agony of defeat,” other than it included bumps, bruises, bandages, and possibly an ambulance. The programming included live and taped sports, exposing us to almost every sport known to man; it’s definitely where I learned the word “curling” applied to more than just a round, hot iron to fix my hair Farrah Fawcett-style. As a youngster, I was gangly and a bit of a weakling. There were no athletic bones in my body nor coordination in my muscles. And I definitely never got picked first, second, or third for team sports in gym class. I usually received a nod after the athletic kids were chosen. I was generally not last because, thankfully, whoever was “team captain” was inevitably a friend, and he or she knew it wasn’t good for popularity to be picked last. I do remember being picked last for dodge ball, however. I can’t blame the team captains; they were looking for someone with a quick dodge and a strong throw, neither of which I possessed. I didn’t do too bad at basketball, although dribbling down the court seemed like a lost cause, especially when the ball hit my foot one time at a clinic when I was in the sixth grade. The ball flew off into the crowd of parents, who ducked and laughed as I felt my cheeks burn. But I soldiered on, so there was a lesson there, although I probably didn’t note it at the time.

I enjoyed my status as a boy’s basketball cheerleader and played volleyball. My name rarely appeared on the local sports page, but there were a few volleyball matches that I received notation in the actual story. I never aspired to do anything collegiately in sports; I took my stint in high school athletics as more of a social endeavor than an opportunity for scholarships. However, because of that lack of ability (or interest), I was afforded the luxury to never feel the deep sense of the agony of defeat. Even when we lost volleyball matches where I played my heart out or basketball games I cheered my lungs out, I never felt like that skier must have felt when he finally stopped bouncing off the snow. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love watching sports, oh, on the contrary. My entire life, I’ve held a deep affection for college football and basketball. I loved my University of Idaho Vandals as they took the field or court in the Kibbie Dome. My parents took us to Vandal football games, and my love for the sport grew when Dad took the time to explain the different positions and plays. My sister had a stint with the Vandal Marching Band as a flag twirler, and I was allowed to go with her to the games. I was in junior high, and sitting with the twirlers and marching band was the coolest thing I’d probably done up to that point in my life. I listened to every game on the radio when not in attendance, leaning in close to the speakers to hear Bob Curtis talking about plays, stats, and about “a good-lookin’ kid from…” I begged to go to the Homecoming parade and game each year, even though it always hit smack dab in the middle of fall work. When I finally hit college and achieved official Vandal status, I attended many games and cheered wildly GO VANDALS! Sometimes the thrill of victory sent us celebrating to The Corner Bar; sometimes, a twinge of the agony of defeat sent us home thinking, “We’ll get ‘em next time.” But I honestly didn’t feel the actual agony because it wasn’t me who left her blood, sweat, and tears out on the field or court. Speaking of blood, mine runs silver and gold, and I’m forever proud to be a Vandal, whether it’s in sports or academics. But I’m admitting here that I’ve found admiration for another team, another school. Now sometimes my blood runs red and blue, and a bulldog named Spike melts my heart. Second only to the Vandals, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have won me over to the Zag side. Marrying into the Kinyon family, there was an unwritten rule that you “should” be a Vandal fan AND a Zag fan. I wasn’t aware of this expectation prior to walking down the aisle, but it became all too clear the longer I stayed in the clan. And let me tell you, I started to enjoy watching the Zags play basketball. I learned the significance of the names Frank Burgess and John Stockton and held them in high regard. Any self-respecting Gonzaga fan does.

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Talented ballers stepped in (including Blake Stepp) over the years, like Dan Dickau, Robert Sacre, Ronny Turiaf, Austin Daye, Kevin Pangos, Kelly Olynyk, Adam Morrison, Nigel Williams-Goss, Killian Tille, and Derek Ravio (oh, remember Ravio’s sweet free throw?). Of course, I can’t write about Gonzaga men’s basketball without mentioning Mark Few. He served as assistant starting in 1990 and has been the master dreamweaver since 1999. So why am I writing about the Gonzaga Bulldogs men’s basketball team? I’m definitely not a polished sports writer. But when I sat down to hammer out my piece about Otis for this issue, a spark of another story started to gain traction. And as a writer, if something starts to flourish in my mind, I write it down so I don’t lose it. So here we are. I’m known, especially in this magazine, as a nostalgia writer, trying to recapture the magical moments from the past and shine a light on the importance of family ties and tradition. My husband suggested I do that this issue by sharing our family’s obsession with the Zags. In ways they probably never could imagine, the Gonzaga men’s basketball players and coaches—who we don’t even know—have played an instrumental part in cementing some extremely powerful family ties and memories. Using one part good old-fashioned basketball and one part new-fashioned technology, our family’s love of the Zags created a new tradition. Chad’s family formed the “Zag Fan Chat” texting group many years ago to enjoy games together even though we all lived miles apart. Then, my mom started texting during games, too. So, between Mom popping on my screen every game night with an exuberant “are you ready?” and the “Zag Fan Chat,” I’ve texted back and forth throughout every game for years. From trashing the refs when necessary, to praising the players’ expertise, to marveling at what Mark Few built each year, we’ve texted about all of it. When my husband, Chad, and I moved to Las Vegas, a thousand miles sat between our family and us. It became harder and harder to see each other in person as lives created changes and moves. It was a rare occasion—weddings and funerals—when the immediate family on either side all landed in one spot simultaneously. I experienced a homesickness I’d never felt before. But there was a remedy that stood the test of time and distance: Gonzaga men’s basketball. Each game night, our families sat in our respective homes, watching the game, texting, and comparing thoughts about the game. From our couches, we reffed and coached, but mostly we were just loyal fans using this wonderful basketball program as an excuse to stay connected. For years, Chad wore his “Super Suit,” a red Gonzaga tee with flannel pajama pants. That combination possessed a strange but oddly lucky power to seemingly lend a helping hand for-

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-a win. He wore it for so many seasons, the shirt wore out. We stressed as a group via texting about what a different shirt would mean for “our boys.” And then there were the snacks. Only specific snacks have been allowed during game nights due to their lucky status tied to the Zag win column. Milk Duds, Cheetos, popcorn, DOTS, red licorice, and a few other specific treats always seemed to help pull out the win. Close games usually sent us all to bed with a tummy ache. But we never complained because a Zag win was worth the sugar overdose. Then, in 2009 something magical happened. The West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament came to Sin City. Of course, we HAD to get tickets. That first year Chad’s parents came down for the fun. Our seats were in the first row of the bend in the “U” seating section at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Perfect seats. Mama Di (my mother-in-law) crafted big “Zag Bags” for her and me so we could haul in our snacks, wallets, and lipstick. They were huge, boasting “GU” letters and various red and blue fabrics. We were the envy of several Zag fans. I also hauled in my big digital camera to get the zoomedin photos of greats like Josh Heytvelt, Matt Bouldin, Austin Daye, and Jeremy Pargo. Security told me to put my “big lens” away, but I told them it was my personal camera, so they allowed it. What a thrill to see the Bulldogs thump rival St. Mary’s in the championship game that year. I’ll admit it was a treat to watch Patrick “Patty” Mills play, even if he was a Gael. The next several years, Chad and I managed to go to the tournaments in Vegas, even though ticket prices climbed, and I couldn’t take in my “Zag Bag” anymore—clear purses only. The cheering section for the Zags overwhelmed the other WCC fans; there were ALWAYS more Zag fans than any others, although when BYU showed up, they started to give the Zag fans a bit of competition. Sometimes Chad’s parents were with us, sometimes it was just us. One year, Chad and I bought tickets for the championship game and ended up five rows behind the Gonzaga bench. Wowza. We could hear Coach Few and see the sweat dripping off everyone. Throughout that game, the texting on our phones clicked along as usual from Mom and “Zag Fan Chat.” We were all “there” to win it, together. When Gonzaga made it to The Dance year after year, it whipped up that frenzy called March Madness in all our households. In March 2017, Chad and I even trekked up to Salt Lake City to watch the Zags in first-round tournament competition. And then our competitive-natured family members started filling out brackets to challenge each other, with no real prize in the end, other than bragging rights for a year. I sit here typing, thinking about the thousands of memories involving texts, snacks, games on tv and in-person, and it leaves me with a sense of awe. We never gave up on our Zags, win or lose, because family sticks together. And whether they knew it or not, we’d adopted the Gonzaga men’s basketball players and coaches as part of our tribe.

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Temple + Chad

Fun tim!!

The 2020-21 season presented an undefeated Zag team vying for the championship against Baylor. It was the matchup of the year—the one everyone wanted, especially since their scheduled meet-up in December was canceled due to Covid. It seemed like, finally, our Zags would get their championship and cinch a perfect season, a feat not completed since the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers. To say every person in my Zag world—family and friends, inside and outside the texting groups—was nervous was an understatement. We wanted this win and the perfect season for the Zag Nation so badly. That night, Chad and I ironically sat in my parents’ living room; it was certainly a treat to actually sit with family and potentially witness the magic of a championship win and undefeated season. The “Zag Fan Chat” sparked and crackled with energy and excitement. Were we all wearing our Zag gear? Did our friend, Glenda Bull, have her unwashed lucky Gonzaga sweater on? Did we have our snacks in line? Did Mama Di have an ample supply of orange popsicles, recently discovered to have magical powers to assist the team to victory? The game tip-off held so much hope, so much anticipation. And as we watched and texted, texted and watched, we began to see our Bulldogs struggle against Baylor. Even several orange popsicles couldn’t make the magic complete. I saw the agony of defeat on every face on the Gonzaga team and coaching staff. And that’s when I knew what Jim McKay was talking about all those decades ago on Wide World of Sports. The agony of defeat was heartbreaking and life-changing. There’s a saying in our family sports clan that even if our Zags lose, as long as the players left it all on the court and put out their best, there’s no reason for them to hang their collective heads. The talented players who had become family—not only to each other but also to my family—had nothing to be ashamed of with a 31-1 season. Regardless, the agony of defeat lived large that night in the entire Zag Nation. . . and especially in us. Now, I know there’s a lot of Vandals, Cougars, and Warriors out there (heck, I’m all of them). But I’ll always remember the magic the Gonzaga Bulldogs—especially this year’s team— brought my family and me. The hype, the cussing at the refs, the astonishment of a backdoor pass resulting in a spectacular slam dunk, and when Jalen Suggs launched that game-winning thee-pointer at the buzzer. . . all the moments, words captured in bubbles. We jotted it all down in tiny texts on our tiny phone screens crossing thousands of miles. This particular Vandal Bulldog will always cherish the years of gleeful tradition watching season after season of Zag basketball; it is a strong tie that binds. It’s an un-breaking, un-defined force full of life and energy that exists within a group of people I love and treasure. It might just be basketball to some, but to us, a mighty kinship exists because of some outstanding athletes, their reMARKable coach and staff, and an orange roundball always searching for its home through the hoop.

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.

Karen Schoepflin Hagen Have you ever been in the company of someone who radiates pure joy? If you haven’t, well let me introduce you to Karen Schoepflin Hagen from Genesee, Idaho. I’ve known who Karen was for years but never had a conversation with her until I reached out to her to do the interview. From the moment she met Rod and I on the steps of her 4000 square foot quilt gallery, her joy and passion were tangible, you could just feel it. The thought struck me; it was like a warm breeze that invigorated you on that first perfect warm spring day. Seriously. As Karen ushered us into her quilt museum, it was like she had never shown them to anyone before, which isn’t the case. For several years during the summer, Karen would pack up her handmade quilts which represented her life’s work and traveled to many cities to share her creations with others. Karen tells the story from one of her shows, wherein an older gentleman came in and was viewing her quilts. He approached her and asked if she had a piece of string that she could give him. As she was looking through her basket, she asked the man why he needed a piece of string? And Karen laughed and said as she was quoting him, “I need a way to keep my chin from hitting the floor every time I round a corner”. “It was his funny way to tell me he found the quilts to be amazing”. Now with the generosity of a dear friend who bought the building, Karen has a home to showcase these works of art. As we slowly wandered through the gallery, it was a kaleidoscope of colors, textures and intricate design. By the time we finished my brain felt like it was on a sugar high. Getting a one-on-one tour as Karen gave insights to the stories behind many of the quilts, you couldn’t help but marvel at each masterpiece. To say I was in awe is an understatement. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more, the quilts or Karen’s descriptions of how she made them or what inspired her. Karen doesn’t sell her quilts and has kept all of the ones she makes. Occasionally she will make one as a gift but will always make a duplicate to keep. She has does this 14 times. For her to sell anything in her personal collection she said would leave a hole in her collection. I suspected it would be deeper than that and would basically leave a hole in her soul. The 2-hour tour was time well spent.

There was one quilt that was the face of her mom. Next to the quilt was a photograph and up close you could vaguely make out the face, but what was extraordinairey was when you were at the end of the hall and looked back. That was when the face came to life in perfect focus. To make a face from fabric…. Pure talent. Karen described how after her shift ended at school, she would lay out the tiny pieces of fabric on the school cafeteria floor, and from the second story open balcony she would examine the creation through binoculars turned backwards. Then would descend the stairs to adjust any piece that wasn’t just so. How she ever rearranged and put them together in her home sewing studio is beyond my imagination. There were two other quilts that were my favorites and both were again from pictures taken and then the same scene recreated on fabric. Other interesting ones were almost like an “I Spy” book, with hidden objects. Many of the creations were hand stitched with added flair of textures. Pieces of cloth transformed into a visual almost a 3D work of pictorial art. After the tour, we sat down and I asked where her love of creating came from, what inspired her? And her answer was life. That was Karen’s inspiration. Taking walks and seeing patterns of light in nature, or raindrops on the windshield or some other visual that was an “aha moment”. Karen enjoys belonging to two quilting groups and getting the assigned “challenges” to create a specific kind of quilt. That seems to bring out her flair for whimsy and with a needle and thread creates. What struck me the most was Karen’s ideology, she said she has often been asked to judge quilt shows. And in her words, she says, “I refuse to do that because what other people make to me is wonderful” she went on to explain that she didn’t want to impose her vision of how to quilt or what it should look like on someone else. Each person’s quilt is an expression of their talent and it would be unjust for her to judge another’s creation by her standards. She also says she will assist with a technique, yet does not teach. Karen insists that each person figure out what works for them. It’s their work of art and it will reflect their passion. And I thought to myself, what a beautiful life truth. We are all unique in this world and our gifts and talents are not meant to try to copy others, we all need to be our own wonderful original works of art. I for one, think taking a page out of Karen’s play book to seek, create and do what inspires you is the best medicine and cure for the heart and soul. Karen says the question she gets asked most often is, where do you get the patience to do such detailed work? And her reply, “it isn’t work when you love what you do”. No truer words have ever been spoken. The Kascha Quilt center is located at 145 Laurel Street, Genesee, Idaho. Hours Thursday-Saturday, 10am-3pm or by appointment at 208-285-1786. The exhibit is free of charge, but donations are accepted and please make sure to sign the guest book.

Just a few examples of Karen’s incredible talent

By Joe Evans Well, well, well. It so seems I am fared with the task of choosing a weapon for a soon-to-be hunt for two medium-sized big-game animals. Most reasonably intelligent folks would choose a main rifle for both species and have a backup for a spare – just in case the main weapon breaks. Well, I’m not sure most people would put me in the reasonably intelligent bracket. Having said that, a great deal of thought did enter into making my decision. First, one species is about 50% larger and much more hairy than the other. Second, ammunition components are totally non-existent. The final selection boiled down to a 257 Weatherby as the primary and a 340 Weatherby as the backup and possible use on the larger animal. The 257 is a Weatherby Vanguard stainless synthetic with a 24 inch barrel. Topping it is a Nikon 4.5x14 scope. The rifle is also equipped with a Timney trigger and a Bell and Carlson fiberglass stock. The proven on game and range load for this rifle consists of a Weatherby case, 74 grains of RL25 powder, 100 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet, lit by a Federal 215 GM Match primer. I would have liked to use a heavier bullet for the larger animal, but this was all I had. Chronographed velocity is right at 3560 fps. Outstanding whitetail load. Whilst working this load up I happened to pull a factory 100 grain load apart. Propelling the 100 grain Hornady bullet was what appeared to be 74 grains of RL25. Velocity was identical to my load and pressures seemed to be quite close. The group shot at the factory and accompanied the rifle was 3 shots in .75 inch with the 100 grain Hornady bullet in a factory load. I could not better these results with a number of loads with 87, 100, and 115 grain bullets. For a number of reasons which I will detail in another article the Butler Creek synthetic stock which this rifle originally sported had to go. The Bell and Carlson stock was a revelation! It is a drop-in style of stock and features a pressure point at the forend tip. Although free-floating barrels are the current rage, directions with the B&C stock state that the warranty will be void if this pressure point is removed. Okay, when all else fails – follow directions. I have had good luck with pressure point bedding in other rifles and there really is a lot of good about this style bedding, particularly with a super stiff stock like the B&C with a lot of imbedded metal stiffening it dramatically. After installing the B&C stock last summer I took the rifle to the range and after firing a few rounds to settle the stock in, I proceeded to get serious. Several 3 shot groups averaged right at .5 inch with the best group running .3. Last fall I harvested a nice, small buck whitetail with a single shot. Not the biggest deer I ever took but I am a meat eater – not a horn chewer. I am also not afflicted with the “mine is bigger than yours” syndrome that a lot of guys seem to be burdened with. Life is good! So now I took the rifle out a couple of weeks ago to check the zero.

Best I could do was .75 inch at 100 yards. Hmmm. i checked the two action screws and found the front one backed out about ½ turn. What happened? I removed the offending screw and found a small raised area at the bottom of the screw preventing proper tightening. A moment at the grinder fixed that. I don’t like loose action screws so I coated the threads of both action screws with a dab of automotive Indian Head Gasket Shellac and tightened both down to just below breaking point. Back to the range and fired three groups of .5 inch, .6 inch, and .4 inch. After this I fired one three shot group of a Weatherby factory load featuring a 100 grain Norma bullet at a rated 3400 fps. Through the scope the group looked huge! Fired another group with my handload and the group measured .55 inch. ‘Tis the factory load! I went down and measured the factory load group and found it only measured 1.25 inch. Not too bad and one only has to consider that not too many years ago 1.25 inches was a great group for a light, high intensity hunting rifle. That’s the 257, and now for the 340. This piece is factory equipped with a fluted, stainless 26 inch Krieger barrel. The factory stock is, I believe, a Bell and Carlson fiberglass job with aluminum stiffening block installed. No pressure points in this one. Trigger is an aftermarket Timney. Sighting system is a 3.5x15 Nightforce scope. Muzzle is vented with a Williams Guide muzzle brake. Various factory and hand loads from 200 to 250 grain weights have always ran in 3 shot clusters from .6 inch to .9 inch at 100 yards. Never below .5 inch and never over one inch. Current favored load consists of a Nosler 225 grain AccuBond bullet propelled by 88 grains RL22 in a Nosler Custom case and lit by a Federal 215 GM match primer. Velocity is 3024 fps. A little below max but it works. As a final zero check, I went out bear hunting yesterday and fired two shots prone with bipod at a 6 inch rock at 686 yards. Data called for a 12 MOA dialed into scope. Both bullets hit. Should be good to go! So there you have it. Either of these pieces will do the job as long as the shooter does his part. Weatherby rifles and cartridges have received considerable criticism over the years. Some of it is justified and some of it is due to ignorance or jealousy. One real puzzler is this – both the 257 and 340 shoot best with the bullets seated quite deeply. I am not the only one to report this as others have noticed this phenomenon with other Weatherbys. Weird by true. I feel the real key to success is to check and properly maintain your equipment. Practice, practice, and practice some more. If you follow these tips your success is virtually guaranteed whether you use a Weatherby or other equipment. At any rate, down the line I’ll cover both cartridges and rifles in greater depth as there is a lot more to say about them. I’m looking forward to my upcoming adventure and will let you know how it all turns out. So what animals am I hunting? I’ll let you know next issue. Right now, I gotta go do some dry firing with these cannons!


Robinson Park by

Dulce Kersting-Lark



The days are getting longer and warmer, trees are beginning to bud, and the birds are encouraging us to join them outside. Summer is on the way! If your family is anything like mine, you are eagerly looking forward to spending time in the great outdoors. There are so many wonderful places to explore that are just barely beyond your front door. Latah County’s Robinson Park is conveniently located just east of Moscow and provides lots of opportunities for fun. While generations of locals have taken advantage of the amenities, most users know very little about the park’s interesting past. In his self-published book Blood on the Tail of a Pig, Moscow resident Dr. Frank B. Robinson recounts an exchange that he claims to have had with President Roosevelt while visiting the White House sometime in the 1930s. According to Robinson, “the subject of the conversation was the gift of a parcel of land to Latah County, Idaho.” The men agreed that if a person would donate an appropriate spot, the government would “construct a dam, which, in turn, would give us an artificial lake – something much needed in this part of Idaho.” Robinson went on to write “fortunately, I had been able to buy the land and deed it to the county.” Frank B. Robinson was a generous man and his philanthropy took many forms, including the gift of the park to Latah County’s residents. His wealth was a product of Psychiana, the “psychological religion” he formed in the early 1930s. His new religion was based upon an assertion that he “TALKED WITH GOD (Yes I did, actually and literally).” The pharmacist-turned-evangelist promoted New Thought ideals such as the power of positive thinking and the use of affirmations. Psychiana is often called a mail order religion because followers sent off a dollar or two in exchange for religious lessons to be delivered through the mail. In fact, Pyschiana, Inc. produced so much media that Moscow’s post office was bumped up to first-class ranking. The publishing and mailing enterprises made Psychiana the largest private employer in town during most of the 1930s.

As a way to give back to his community, and perhaps to avoid overt criticism of his thriving business, Robinson dreamt of creating a park. In a letter dated December 13, 1935, Robinson wrote to the Latah County Board of County Commissioners to inform them of his plans. “This is to advise you that I have this day purchased from the Federal Land Bank of Spokane, a tract of land situated at Rowland’s Park, which land I am giving to the people of Latah County.” Recreation was a primary concern of Robinson’s. “I think it is generally admitted throughout Northern Idaho that the one great drawback to Latah County has been its lack of recreational water facilities, and I am happy indeed to give to the residents of Latah County, the land which will make this lake possible.” Robinson assured the county that the United States Soil Erosion Service would construct the dams and other features required to make a lovely lake of approximately 20 acres. “No expense of any sort will fall upon the tax payers of Latah County,” Robinson wrote. Given that the country was experiencing the depths of the Great Depression that was no doubt a relief to the commissioners at the time – James Blane, Rudolph Nordby, and Walter Driscoll. The Soil Conservation Service was formed in response to America’s Dust Bowl, a catastrophic environmental disaster that rocked America’s heartland during the early 1930s, when poorly-informed farming practices led to soil erosion on a scale that can scarcely be imagined. Young men who joined the Civilian Conservation Corps became the primary workforce for the SCS during much of that decade, and they contributed to hundreds of projects throughout the country. A 1938 contract with Region 11 of the Soil Conservation Service reads in part “the County of Latah, Idaho requests the cooperation of the Soil Conservation Service in the development of Robinson Park through the development of trails, control of erosion on road banks, construction of the necessary tables, fireplaces, garbage pits and latrines.” The value of the CCC-contributed labor was $34,600, which is equivalent to at least $500,000 today. This New Deal project was just one of thousands across America that improved the lives of residents. When describing the park in his 1941 book, Robinson wrote “Many thousands enjoy this Park and Lake, both winter and summer. In the winter there is wonderful skating, and in the summer it is used as a picnic place and, after the heat of the day, many thousands drive to this beauty spot, eat their lunches, and relax under the trees.” A county commissioner assessment of the park in 1954 spoke in similarly positive tones, noting that maintaining the park would provide “local privileges to many of our younger generation, as well as to a number of more mature persons who still wish to enjoy a short period of tranquil relaxation.”

Despite the efforts of Soil Conservation Service and the county, erosion ultimately foiled Frank B. Robinson’s hopes for a long lasting recreational water facility. Within a decade of officially opening the park it became clear that the lake was filling with silt. The relatively small size of the water feature, at just about 8 acres, was simply too small to handle a watershed area of more than 5,400 acres. In the 1950s the lake was dredged and 30,000 cubic yards of sediment was removed, at a cost of 18 cents per yard, but the improvements were relatively short-lived. In 1974 the Soil Conservation Service issued an inventory and evaluation to assess the challenges facing Robinson Lake Park and offer alternatives. The number one problem was sedimentation, but others included a lack of ongoing maintenance, vandalism, and funding for improvements. A series of possible solutions were also detailed, which ranged from allowing the lake to slowly fill with sediment to entirely filling the lake and converting it to playfields to selling the land and choosing a different location for a park. Robinson, however, had specifically stipulated that his gift “forever remain the property of the people of Latah County,” making the SCS’s final alternative impossible. Besides the physical deterioration of the park, it had also fallen out of favor with many Latah County families because of the frequent, rowdy behavior found there. A September 1975 article appearing in the Argonaut under the headline “Mad keggers blasted” detailed a particularly raucous party at Robinson Park. “Residents in the area surround Robinson Lake Park have voiced numerous complaints to the County Sheriff ’s Office and the Latah County Recreation Department,” the paper reported, “concerning some of the keggers held at Robinson Lake recently and last year.” The story went on to note “the most recent keggers occurred Wednesday, when, according to the caretaker of the park, approximately 35 cars arrived, with their occupants, at the picnic area. As the evening proceeded, the yet to be identified group grew rowdy, not to mention inebriated, and the party became, again described by the caretaker, a ‘mad kegger.’” The county recreation director was also interviewed, saying taxpayers were demanding action to create a more family-oriented facility. Not everyone, of course, saw Robinson Park’s party atmosphere as a problem, as evidenced by one letter to the Argonaut editor following the “mad kegger” story. “The statement ‘…group grew rowdy, not to mention inebriated…’ nearly made me fall off my chair in laughter,” the letter writer explained. “Have you ever seen a kegger party where any of the participants were anything but inebriated?! I don’t want the people of Moscow to get upset with the college students because we are going to be here for a long time…I’d hate to see what would happen to this town if suddenly there weren’t any more students.”




May/June 2021 67


The letter writer may have been disappointed to watch as Latah County did indeed reinvest in the upkeep of Robinson Lake Park. Draining and filling the lake was the first order of business, as it had become clear that yearly dredging would be needed to maintain the spot as an attractive water feature. New trails were built and fixtures such as picnic tables and parking lots were upgraded. Public input was sought and incorporated into the long-range care plans. Families began returning to the park for summer grill outs and softball games. Today Robinson Park is again enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. It is a great place to take a nature walk, exercise your dog, host a gathering of friends, or even camp. It is also a great place to sit and have a think. In the end, that seems to have been Frank B. Robinson’s chief hope for the park. He concludes the reminiscence of his conversation with President Roosevelt in this way: “the chief executive turned to me and said, ‘Doctor Robinson – you and I are trying to do the same thing – we are trying to make people think.’”


LCHS Photo 25-08-051: A band playing on a stage on a flatbed truck. The sign underneath the band reads - Harvest Fair Folk Festival - Robinson Lake Park September 19 & 20. 1981. LCHS Photo 25-01-019: Aerial view of Robinson Lake, undated. LCHS Photo 01-10-010: Mrs. Floyd Trail with two of her children, Tom and Marilyn, picnicking at Robinson Lake, 1941. LCHS Photo 01-10-059: Frank Robinson with CCC workers in front of the old Rowland Park building next to Robinson Lake (Robinson in fur coat and black hat offers lunch to a worker. Man on back of truck is W. T. Marineau.) 1938-9. LCHS Photo Murphy.M.01: Maxine Murphy by Robinson Park sign noting fishing restrictions, 1947-8.

The Moon Moves Me

by Annie Gebel

Let’s all think back to Earth Science. I know, science isn’t my usual topic, but stick with me for a second. Do you remember learning that the moon has its own gravitational force? Do you remember that the moon’s gravity is what causes the tides in our oceans? Well, even if you don’t remember, it’s still true! The beautiful moon, over 230,000 miles from our beautiful Earth, creates the tides, the ebb and flow of the oceans. That’s a big deal. When I was in 7th or 8th grade, learning about planets and space, I don’t remember recognizing what a big deal this is. Now, though...now that I’m older, I somehow feel smaller. Not less, actually more (but I’m getting ahead of myself), but I see my place in the world, in the universe, differently than I did when I was younger. I look up at the moon with wonder and awe now. Thinking about this little orb in the sky having such an impact on the ocean waters...it’s empowering and amazing. And the Earth and our body’s have similar percentages of water in them. So, if the moon can pull the ocean waters, doesn’t it stand to reason that the moon could pull on us a little bit too? I know, I lost a few of you there. You were with me on the science, but I just stepped a little outside the box, didn’t I? It’s okay. I used to laugh nervously when people talked about the effect the moon has on human beings too. That was until I started paying attention. I read, listened to people’s experiences, and tracked my own energy and moods. What I noticed was that the moon’s energy matched mine. I mean, I fought it because I believed I was supposed to, but when I let myself feel how I felt, I was tired and slow when the moon was fading in the sky. When the moon was growing bigger and becoming full I had more motivation and so many ideas I couldn’t possibly act on them all. Do you ever feel like that?

The moon, in many cultures, is seen as the grandmother of our connections to nature. As this feminine powerhouse in the sky, the moon’s energy often affects women more than men, who are guided by the sun’s movement. You can think of masculine energy as more structured - up in the morning, maybe feeling that afternoon lull, and down to rest for the night. Feminine energy cycles as well, but not daily. Whether talking about the hormonal menstrual cycle women experience, or the moon’s pull, feminine energy’s pattern can be found over weeks. There’s a few days of feeling more interested and positive, followed by a burst of motivation. For a week or so, we may desire connections with others, have seemingly endless energy to do all the things, and feel great about life. But those days are followed by a slowing, a time of great discernment (something I learned from Sarah Jenks), about what (or who) we want and don’t want in our lives. And then we often feel like hibernating for a few days before we start to feel more interested in life off the couch again. Cycles. We see it in the seasons and with the moon’s phases in the sky, which can be linked to the longer feminine energy cycle. 1. The new moon, when there’s just the first little sliver of crescent moon in the sky, as it’s cycle begins, is connected with the first little tinges of energy. This is a time where we have ideas begin to sprout and we are slightly more future focused. 2. The waxing moon is when we see a half circle of moon as it’s reflecting more and more of the sun’s light. During this time we find that we really start to get things done. We’ve got more energy to put ideas into action and make some progress with projects. 3. As the moon becomes full we often feel full of energy, interested in gathering with people, possibly even more attractive. This is often a time where things seem easy or smooth in our lives. 4. The waning moon is the opposite of the waxing. It’s when the moon is a half circle because it’s losing more of the sun’s reflected light each night. During the waning moon our energy starts to lessen too. We might find ourselves being short with people, wanting to rest more and do or think less. 5. And then there’s the dark moon, which is two or three nights before the new moon, when you can’t see the moon at all, even on a cloudless night. During these days you might find yourself feeling even more worn out. 6. Then the new moon returns and your energy can begin to flow more freely again.

These bullet points outline what could happen with your energetic self, but we all know that nothing is that simple. There are all sorts of other things at play with our energy levels. Everything from what we eat to how much sleep we got last night to what physical or emotional wounds we’re healing can impact our energy. I get that. I’m not saying everyone can or should or does follow this cycle that the moon influences. I do think, though, that more of us could flow in this way if we let ourselves. Earlier I said that I don’t feel like less, even though I recognize myself as a tiny part of the rhythms of our solar system. Tuning in to the moon’s energetic cycle has helped me to feel like more. I feel like I’m more myself. I see that I have more to offer. I know that my tiny part in the really big picture is an important one. It’s empowering and amazing. A few years ago I did what a lot of people did - pushed through. When I was tired, I’d drink more caffeine. When I wanted to take a nap I’d tell myself I could after I got everything else done. I told myself that I was being lazy if I had the urge to take a bath in the middle of the day, and wouldn’t take one. Now, though, I begin each day asking myself what I need. I listen to the answers and do my best to make it happen. Clearly a week’s vacation isn’t always in the cards, but I can bring a little vacation into my daily life. What changed? For me, it was connecting with the moon. I realized that I was more exhausted during the waning and dark moon portions of her cycle. And, rather than fighting that, I allowed myself to nap, to take a bath, to lay on the couch and watch a movie at 9:30 on a Tuesday morning. I saw that when I did that, my new moon and especially my waxing moon energy was excited and inquisitive energy. During these weeks I was eager to see what would happen if I tried something new, which was much more fulfilling than having an idea and feeling like it wasn’t worth putting thought into because I knew I’d be too tired to see it through. It might seem as simple as learning how to listen to my own needs and wants and fulfilling them. I get that. My muse was the moon’s cycle, though. Leaning into her phases and letting mine match gave me what I needed to stop listening to societal ‘shoulds’ and outdated rules for how to live my life. What would happen if you allowed yourself to rest with the moon too? The world is set up to rise and shine with the sun, and I do love a good sunny day, but now those sunny days aren’t all the same. If the moon is dark, I’m probably soaking up the sun with a good book. If the moon is full, I might hike or get together with friends. I definitely get more house cleaning and meal prepping done during the full moon too! So, you can use your energy cycles however you’re called. But wouldn’t it be nice to give it a try?

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River Journal

Jacqueline Cruver

1978 Summer was one long stretch of well spent days on the newly purchased piece of property. Located on the other side of a river, it had only been recently used for a hunting spot, but a cable crossing was grandfathered in from the original homestead and rightfully came with the property. The novelty of riding the rusty cable car across to the remote building site seemed to draw enough adventurous and able bodied friends to help us construct our first primitive structures and repair the one existing cabin. Jim, Peter and I wore the white foreman hats and held the title to the twenty acre triangle of land surrounded by Forest Service Land. I had spent a few days away in the city and was anxious to get back to the cabin and enjoy some time there alone. I left much later than I meant to so the two hour drive was mostly in the dark but a stunning full moon was lighting the way up the seldom traveled mountain highway. When I reached the empty parking spot, the darkness was thick beneath the tall fir trees filtering the moonlight. I flung my trusty red JanSport backpack onto my shoulder and stood quietly still as I shut my car door and watched the dome light fade out.

The jarring sound of my door gently soaked into the soft, black forest floor as my eyes steadily grew accustomed to the dark. Lightly setting each step before shifting my weight, I made my way down the now familiar path toward the sound of the river and the landing. The moonlight allowed me to clearly see the boards nailed to the old growth tree stump we had managed to top with a sturdy platform and up I climbed. I skillfully yanked the chain brake from its resting place in front of the rear wheel that rolled atop the hefty old cable and began my ride. Gravity is a dependable toll free form of energy and it careened my weight toward the lowest point spanning the river. Before momentum slowed I began the hand over hand pull that would get me up the gentle slope to the other landing. As soon as my feet felt the solid deck, I grabbed and jammed the chain brake over the cable and securely behind the forward wheel in one smooth clank before it could roll back. I leaned back against the angle iron upright of the cable car frame, breathing heavy and feeling a nudge of self achievement. I just sat there wrapped in the darkness, smiling to the night and the audience of stars. 1979 Winter snow melt in the mountains revealed a completely different river. The calming, peaceful span of slow moving water became whitewater rapids. It transformed into a boulder crashing, angry force of nature. It lapped within five feet of our dangling boots when we crossed over it and we had to be careful to not carry excessive, unnecessary weight on the limited trips across. The rains pounded on the green metal roof of the cabin in the upper meadow. As I tried to fall back to sleep after a midnight feeding of the glowing wood stove, the sound of boulders being relocated in the riverbed below was accompanied by the sense of the saturated ground bumping and thudding. Waking to the dreary wet morning, my first glance out the front window presented a sight which began a day of challenges I could not have imagined. The log tripod that normally held the cable twenty feet off of the ground was splintered and in the mud, still attached to a very slack cable. Jim had gone on a road trip, and would not be in his cabin down on the edge of the swollen river but we bolted down there, not knowing what kind of disaster we would find. On the second switchback in the trail we had to climb over two uprooted trees that had been released from their places of grandeur on the slippery muddy slope. When the river came into view, the cable car was on its side next to the landing and the cable was beneath the whitecaps of the water and was snagging passing debris on the nearest shoreline but not visible at the far shore. We could not see the deadman anchor-


-system on the other side but assumed fallen trees had taken the cable down. Confused but decidedly trapped, we just needed to determine our next steps. Convinced that the water had reached its high mark and Jim’s cabin was not threatened we returned to the upper meadow to make a plan. We were checking the map to determine how many tributaries we would have to cross if we hiked out down river to the nearest town, as opposed to a shorter trek up river to a bridge that may or may not have been washed out. Our dog Phaedrus gave a bark and was off the porch in one leap, headed down the hill to the sound of a horn from the other side of the river, our doorbell system. Back down to the river we went. There was no possible way to hear much over the furious river, but Jim was over there trying to communicate something unsuccessfully. I held on to Phaedrus with a good grip, as he often swam the river in high water but I knew this would be too much for him to make it across. He barked at Jim with his nose in the air and jumping around as though it was a really fun game. Peter gave a wild pointing gesture suggesting up river or down river and Jim gave us the signal to head up. We were not sure he had checked the status of the bridge but the game of charades with him was too difficult. We just signaled back with a pointing gesture up river. Before we parted we could see he was holding something up that looked like it was shiny metal but could not tell what it was. We waved and parted and got back to the cabin shaking with the reality of our situation beginning to sink in. We had never made the hike off the property on our side of the river. Other hikers had approached from both directions on two random occasions, so we only knew it was possible from their accounts. I packed a few things but kept it light. Some snacks, dry clothes and Phaedrus’s leash in the positive mindset that we would be safely staying in a warm dry house elsewhere by nightfall. Peter was outside securing things in case the storms continued and we could not return for a while when I heard an unfamiliar noise growing louder and louder. I dashed out of the cabin to see a helicopter landing in our tiny mountain meadow and Peter shaking his head back and forth yelling “NO” over the top of the loud and frightening wop-wop of of the blades. The pilot seemed stunned and put down anyway momentarily, but Peter did not approach the helicopter and continued his dismissal of a rescue. I watched with shock as the helicopter ascended and nearly brushing the treetops, left us there. My next glance at Peter was a wordless scowl and I headed into the woods with the dog, not able to comprehend why I was not consulted about a ride to safety in this unfolding nightmare of an adventure.

May/June 2021 80

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Phaedrus led us through the dense woods, always excited for a walk and constantly looking behind to be sure we were still following him. Hiking was not easy through the thick brush reclaiming the vague remnants of an old railcar track that we were attempting to follow. Left from the area’s mining days, it had been long ago abandoned, causing me to often completely lose the trail and have to peer ahead into the forest to determine a sign of a less hindered route or clearing. The sound of the confluence of a large tributary was becoming audible and I was not pleased when it ended my forward progress with the sight of a seriously raging waterfall a good thirty feet wide blocking us from the bridge that we still had not reached. I had not exchanged words with the person crashing behind me now for what seemed like hours. As he joined me at the site of the swollen obstacle halting us, words were still not easily found. Pheadrus was circling us with his tail wagging as we stood in our tracks trying not to feel beaten in our quest. I acquiesced in his choice to speak to Phaedrus and not me. I finally turned to Peter just as he simultaneously shot a look across the waterfall at something. Turning to follow his gaze, there was Jim with a rope tied to a large piece of wood. He was smiling and began swinging the weighted rope and attempting to get it to reach us. Once it was secured on our side, he tightened it with a come-a-long and sent-


-a block across which we attached a rope and makeshift t-bar to sit on. It was decided that Peter would have the honor of the first crossing, holding Phaedrus tightly on his lap. A fifty pound wild-eyed white husky would not be a passenger that I could carry. It was impossible for Peter to pull himself across with one arm so Jim helped with a second rope attached to another block on his side. My turn was less complicated and less frightening after the system had proven safe. Much excited talk was then shared and within a mile we were safely walking across the bridge that had not washed out and safely into Jim’s pick-up. The only injury of that epic day occurred on the road back to town. While engaged in our frantic discussion in the cab, we took our attention away from the poor confused Phaedrus riding in the bed of the truck. He must have assumed we were heading to the familiar parking place at the cable landing and as we passed it going about twenty five miles an hour, he jumped out. Hearing the sound of his claws leave the truck bed, we helplessly looked back to see him tumble and roll when he hit the road. He was scraped up but nothing was broken. He was not happy about driving away from the river. None of us were.

May/June 2021 82


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