Nov/Dec Home&Harvest Magazine

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When it comes to your health, there’s nothing more important than being able to get the care you need when and where you need it. In a first-of-its kind collaboration, Gritman Medical Center, Pullman Regional Hospital and Whitman Hospital & Medical Center are joining forces to bring you high-quality, specialized care to the Palouse in a network called Palouse Specialty Physicians. This is an ongoing result of an ambitious vision for a community of hospitals and patients that are healthier together.

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I want to dedicate this issue to you. Yes, I really mean you. The you who has put their dreams on hold. The you who feels stagnant, forgotten, just living the day-to-day. This is your sign, your call to get back to you and go for what you’ve been dreaming of. You don’t need any more proof that you can do it. You don’t need anyone to cheer you on but yourself. You can do this. This is your time. And while you don’t need a cheerleader, believe me when I say that I am rooting for you. There’s nothing wrong with working hard and keeping your head down, but that’s not the reason you came here. You are meant to laugh and enjoy life- to have a glint in your eye and joy in your heart. Sometimes it feels like things are too bleak to keep going or to bloom something new. Not true. You know that every wonderful thing that’s ever grown or been created came from this same place or state of mind. I’ve shared with you before that I truly had NO IDEA how to create a magazine when I started this one. Once upon a time I was a writer and an editor, and I used to save my pennies to buy magazines like This Old House or Flea Market Style and read them over and over and dream of having my own. Well, running my own magazine while being a singer as well as fixing up a retro house! I know that the last couple of years has done a number on many of you- myself included. I would never bring myself to just write to you about simple topics like the beauty of winter on the Palouse without being real that we have all been through something- even if it doesn’t seem that way for some. But I think there’s something to be said about looking within at your life and realizing the gift that it is. The only thing I want you to really remember is that you deserve to be happy and fulfilled. You can create this within yourself. Just like Tony talks about in the closing article, you just take one hopeful step at a time. There is no bigger secret than that. I want to thank all of you, truly, with absolute gratitude for all you have done to support this magazine. This is our 8th birthday, can you believe that? We’ve been through some typos, heartbreak, a pandemic and also a ton of wonderful things like local advertisers, sold-out pages and literally the best collection of writers on the Palouse. When I tell you how much I appreciate you reading this, I want you to picture me as just another dreamer taking hopeful steps forward. It’s true. I wish you a happy holiday season full of promise and strength and love. May you remember that the season to celebrate is every day. And most of all, I wish you hope on these forward trails. You might not see another on the trail, but you are never traveling alone. The hopeful steps you take are the very ones another needs to help keep the trail going. The light you shine following it only lights the path for others. With Love,

Heather Niccoli Editor-In-Chief Home&Harvest Magazine


editor+design+sales heather niccoli heather@homeandharvestmagazine.com 208.596.5400 | 208.596.4434 publisher; tony niccoli tony@homeandharvestmagazine.com po box 9931 Moscow, Idaho 83843


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Contributors Jacqueline Cruver | Gayle Anderson

Keith Crossler | Joe Evans | Dulce Kersting-Lark Diane Conroy | Emory Ann Kurysh Sara Raquet |Annie Gebel Temple Kinyon | Heidi Pederson Chad Kinyon | Tony Niccoli



Contents 10 My Mailbox 16 Create 18 Christmas Traditions 24 Flank to Flame 28 Spinach, Tomato & Artichoke Skillet Chicken 30 Cozy Fall Winter Soup 32 Bûche de Noël 36 Molasses Cookies Dipped in White Chocolate 38 Heidi’s Holiday Book List 42 Farmers Traveling Abroad, Again 48 Sometimes, You Just Know 52 Annie Gebel’s H&H Reading 54 People Of The Palouse 60 Reloadin’ Joe 62 So You Want To Build A 2-Mile Rifle 68 The Oh, Otis Shenanigans 76 Follow Your Trail


My M By Jacqueline Cruver


I am checking my mailbox in anticipation of receiving important mail this week. Here in our friendly and unpretentious rural towns, that could still mean going to the post office and seeking your post office box number on the wall of hundreds of small, ornately painted glass doors, and perhaps exchanging pleasantries with the postmaster to whom you know on a first name basis. Today, I am listening for the squeak of my curbside mailbox door signaling the postman has delivered my cache of mail along his hurried pedestrian route. I am anxiously waiting for my signed copy of Jim’s fourth book. Jim and I keep in touch by occasional emails, calls and snail mail letters. I like the letters the best because I can sit in my comfortable reading chair and hold the words in my lap and put them down and pick them up again. Like a good book. We have remained pen pals since 1980 BC (before computers). We have mailed announcements of births, weddings, retirement, memorial services, and manuscripts on compact discs, and copies of our published ramblings. Most of us “boomers’’ are not total dinosaurs, and have become aware of the terms wi-fi, broadband and Megabits. There is no arguing that emails and Facebook offer convenience. But I think the lifelessness of inanimate technological intelligence merely enhances the echo of our solitary existence. In the here and now of quarantines, and visits to loved ones being prohibited in hospitals and care facilities, the written card or letter offers a way through the barrier of isolation, lingering and accessible to be picked up and read again to help pass those hours alone. Young and old alike have the need for connection. The Pew Research Center statistics reveal that more than one third of adults 25 to 54 are unpartnered and many more in the category of 54 and older. That means aside from work and errands, there are a lot of folks going home to their cat and impersonal, one-sided conversations online. I am not saying letter-writing is the fixall, but it could be a nice way to supplement the other ways to connect. I am so pleased when my sons call or video call me, so I can visually witness their lives as they continue to mature and change. But there is such a void when the call is over. I hear the click like the pop of a bubble and I am left holding the phone as if it is the empty bubble wand. Silence. No copy to backup or replay. But a letter. . . a letter ends softly with a closing salutation that wishes the reader good health, aloha, adieu, until next time...I like that. As my recollections have begun their game of hide and seek with me, letters that I have kept provide a good reference of what is going on in the lives of friends and-

Mailbox -family and a dependable way to keep track of everyone’s constantly changing physical address. But let the computer do that for you, I hear you say. I am familiar with data entry, and will enter it when I get the time it requires to type it into that contact list. Truth be told, I suffer from trust issues. I once lost three years of journaling when files were deleted on my first computer. Photos, dates and details of my young sons turning into manchilds, entries of helpful lessons from a life coach, emails, stories, facts and figures that I wanted to remember for future reference, this precious file of records to supplement my already full memory bank was just lost, lost in space. It was a crime and I was the prime suspect of operating a computer without a learner’s permit. Rule #1 Do not let your children play on your personal computer. I will NEVER-



-let that happen again. I have advanced my computer skills and now rely upon a solid back-up system that cannot be deleted; A box under my bed. I can share it with other people without needing a password to open it. No Wi-Fi, no long wait to open the program, no apps, and absolutely no clicking needed. It does not require enormous data centers, wired for powersucking fans to cool the hundreds of monstrous machines that hold the endless data saved in the “cloud” that will soon contribute to heating the planet. Ok, ok, help me down from my soapbox. My large, dull brown shoebox holds selections of unique and meaningful mail covering a span of three generations. Just like the file becoming dusty in my mind, they are not in order. They are all mixed around waiting to be selected at random. Then the portal opens, and I am with the person who took the time to take thoughts from their heart and place them on paper to deliver the information or sentiments. Letters are love on paper, plain and simple. They say, ”You are in my thoughts and I am taking time, precious time from my hurried life to make sure you know that you are this important to me”. The dozens of postcards, birthday cards, holiday cards, and letters in my box are very diverse, just like the authors. There is a telegram delivered to my mother before she met my father, found in her things when I closed up her home and her stories. Another brief message on a postcard shows a caricature of an estranged friend of mine and just the words “I Love You”. One dear friend staples extra pages into cards and scatters colorful illustrations and borders throughout her words. Her letters are lively and animated just like she is. There is a note to me from my youngest son that delivers an apology in bold crayon capital letters. He was twelve years old. His humble accountability being captured on the page for eternity. Another is a letter I had written to my grandmother in carefully penned cursive to tell her how special she was to me. I was ten. I can almost feel my ponytail pulled back just a wee bit too tight, making my eyes feel slanted and I hear the whrrrr of grandma’s cards being shuffled for the next round of solitaire. As I unfold a letter my mother had kept, written by me just before I moved away, I can see her peering down her nose through glitter framed glasses and the smell of her rosewater lotion fills the room where I sit now, with my box of letters. My box of love. I became a letter writer in my childhood by circumstance of the era because phone calls were quite expensive if they were not local. Being raised by a very restless mother, by the time I graduated from High School we had moved to thirty different houses and I had attended about a dozen schools. Always making friends just in time to move away. If I called them in an attempt to keep friendships, the long distance call had to be timed and kept to three minutes. Impossible. The art of establishing and keeping penpals allowed me to remain connected to many friends, with the periphery advantage of practicing my penmanship skills. In the early sixties I wrote letters on the backs of soup can labels. Very “Andy Warhol”esque. A few years after that novelty wore off, I discovered fountain pens with small tube cartridges of ink that gave my writing a new flair. That ended when I found them leaking in my desk drawer. Even in college, I continued writing letters. Hmmm, I know some of you cannot imagine college without computers but it was done and we actually learned quite adequately. Typewriters performed the task of word processing, but rewrites were obviously time consuming before copy and paste or delete. For me, the shared library typewriters were only for assignments. My craft of letter writing and journaling had long since become part of me. I had even adopted the practice of melting a dab of colored sealing-


HAPPY HOLIDAYS

cheerful

-wax upon the envelope closure of my dispatch. My selection of ornate stamps included a dove with an olive branch, SWAK, my zodiac sign of the ram, and my favorite; a peace sign. As with many vintage traditions, this personal touch was slated for days gone by when the hardened wax seals became cracked to bits by the automated rollers at the swamped post offices. Soon, I learned my style of letter writing must also evolve. For many years my letters were several pages in length and contained newsworthy events, my opinions on just about everything, and always what I considered heady ruminations on life. The naive assumption that my inner thoughts were only seen by the eyes of the addressee was brought to a halt in a phone conversation that delivered the words “My husband thinks you are a bit of a nutcase.” Egads! My old college roommate had broken our trust and had shared my thoughts with her husband? From that sobering moment, my letters to her did not reveal quite so many layers of my onion. They remained personal but became shorter and more inclusive. I focused on more inquiries of everyone’s well-being and positive affirmations to their entire household, aware now that all of the residents may become audience to my communiques. Woe was the day Christmas letters began arriving in cards with impersonal copies from a copy machine. I felt the crack in the universe. I was just number twelve of twenty four on a list that received the very same communication. This was not correspondence. This was mass production! I did not even resort to this method when I was raising my family and sending out over fifty cards on the now combined list for myself and my husband. I had different sentiments to offer to each individual person and would not, could not, sacrifice the personalization. After many years of inconsistent Christmas card exchanges, it became more like a bad game show where the contestant has to guess who will send them a card to avoid the telltale exclusion followed by last-minute reciprocation. The hectic Christmas season solicits far too many expectations of us. For my own survival, I tossed out some traditions that I find quite unrelated to celebrating the birth of the Christ child. Instead of joining in on the Christmas card lottery, I send out Thanksgiving cards. I love this opportunity to draw from images of trips with friends or wild places where I felt that power greater than myself, reflecting love of the people and things I am grateful for. This was not my idea, mind you. I have taken the cue after receiving a Thanksgiving card from a long lost acquaintance. A photograph of fall leaves in a stream near her house, framed a poem she had written and a lovely handwritten letter was inside. It took me a while to get my thoughts around it but I eventually adopted the new custom wholeheartedly. I found that I am more upbeat and positive at this time of year as the winter has not yet overwhelmed me. My inspiration and words come from the warm and vibrant fall colors around me. It also allows the person to respond with a holiday card or a letter much later in the year when time allows. I seem to get a good number of Happy New Year cards and like counting my friends as blessings to begin another year. Even a card from the dollar store with a few lines about the weather or enclosed a recipe card or packet of spring seeds on May Day will carry the intimacy of personal mail. Cards and letters will always hold words from my heart through my pen to the paper placed into someone’s mailbox by the postman on the street where they live. That is the real world. Be real. Buy a stamp. Write a letter! And remember that paper is recyclable. Letters can also be folded into origami cranes, made into paper chains, shredded for hamster cage bedding, layered on the bottom of the birdcage, crumpled to fill a sock for a puppy toy, stuffed into cracks of drafty windows, and if the delivered message was mean and not to your liking it is very therapeutic to rip it into pieces and burn it in the wood stove. I will leave you with my greeting card composition for this year;

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May the spirit of Thanksgiving bless us with gratitude, the holiday season recall goodwill to all, and the beginning of a new year restore the hope in our hearts. Love and blessings, Jacqueline



e t a e r c We are creative beings. Humans are meant to invent, design, and dream. And there’s no time like this time right now to play with these ideas and what they mean for you! I don’t know about all of you, but for me, 2020 was surreal and 2021 sucked. Can I say that? I think part of the struggle in this past year was dealing with life’s curveballs coming off of a year that involved so much isolation. Part of that isolation prepared me for dealing with life on my own. Part of that isolation meant I hadn’t actually dealt with a lot of curveballs for a bit. Yet, here we are. The end of 2021. Holiday season. A new year ahead. A perfect time to re-create the lives we want to live going forward. Maybe this means that you connect to the canvas with a paintbrush or chalk or crayons. Maybe you clean out that closet that has collected random items for decades and turn it into a cute little book nook. Maybe you and your partner recreate what your relationship could look like. See? Being creative can mean a whole lot of things! A few years ago, I didn’t think I was creative because I didn’t make art. For some of you it might seem obvious that my writing is creative. Home&Harvest

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Nov+Dec 2021

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by annie gebel

For me it took a little to realize that because it was just who I was. I think there are a lot of things we can apply the same logic to. AND I think as we’re re-connecting, re-building, and re-focusing our lives post pandemic, there’s no time like now to apply that logic and re-create the heck out of things! How do you want to celebrate the holidays? Heck, which holidays do you even want to celebrate? Have you always had a big potluck because that’s the way it’s always been? Well, it doesn’t have to be! Create what you want. Big bonfire with cookie exchange. Fancy brunch where everyone dresses up just because you can. No gifts, no frills, take out, and board games. Gather and celebrate however you want. Create the experience you’re desiring. So, what will you re-imagine? Your morning routine? Your living room? Your job? Your movement? Your freetime? Your relationship - with your kids, your spouse, your self? Dream and create, my human friends! And feel free to be artistic along the way too! There is something revitalizing about seeing a blank canvas turn into something. Just know it’s not the only way to create and that whatever way you do it is the absolute right way for you.

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Light up the Season!

�ursday, December 9 th, 6 pm You’re invited to Moscow’s most magical event, Light up the Season! Join us on Main Street for the festivities: Winter Wonderland Tree Lighting, Holiday Parade and DeLIGHTful Downtown Decorations.

See you there! Brought to you by the City of Moscow



Christmas Traditions .................. dulce kersting-lark ..................

T

he Christmas season is upon us and with it comes a wonderful variety of traditions that connect us to the past. For many of us, the mark of an enjoyable holiday is its resemblance to the Christmas’s of our childhood. Familiar or nostalgic food, music, decorations, and activities can transport us back to a time when our biggest concern was whether our letter reached Santa’s North Pole workshop in time. The traditions we hold dear came from our families and our communities, and they also trace their roots farther back to another time and place. As you prepare to celebrate another holiday season, I invite you to spend a few minutes considering the history of some of the most quintessential trappings of Christmas. For months now you may have noticed the greeting card section of your local drug store or supermarket becoming more green and red with each passing week. Christmas cards and holiday greetings are big business. According to Hallmark, the prolific producer of greeting cards founded in 1910, Americans send more than 1.3 billion Christmas and holiday cards each year. Cards with eye-catching details like glitter, pop-up characters, or even music routinely cost $4.99 or more, and when you add in a postage stamp at $0.58, sending a few messages of goodwill can leave a sizable dent in your pocketbook. The realities of the modern holiday card market makes the origins of the practice all the more surprising. Historians widely agree that the first Christmas card was the invention of Sir Henry Cole, a prominent figure in the London social scene of Victorian England. Years before becoming the first director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, he found himself besieged with handwritten yuletide greetings from his many friends and acquaintances. The recent introduction of a “penny post” rate in the British postal system made sending holiday messages more accessible to the masses in England. Fearing a reputation of being rude, Cole cast about for a way to answer the hundreds of notes arriving at his home. In the waning months of 1843, he commissioned his friend and artist J.C. Horsley to create an engraving that represented Cole’s idea of the Christmas spirit. He then took the image of a wealthy family enjoying Christmas dinner flanked by scenes of charitable giving to a London printer and had 1,000 color postcards created. The card featured a simple message, “A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU,” and space to fill in who the card was for and who had sent it. Within a few years, several other prominent Londoners were sending out the very same cards. Americans have a German immigrant, Louis Prang, to thank for our own adoption of the Christmas card tradition. Prang was a skilled printer and eager to utilize the latest technologies of his trade. From continental Europe he brought the process known as chromolithograph making to New England in the 1870s. The process involved the layering of as many as twenty colors to create vibrant images with intricate details. Prang’s very first holiday offering featured a beautiful flower and a message of “Merry Christmas.” His high-quality cards garnered a great deal of attention in his adopted home of Boston and beyond. By the end of the century lithographers across the country were engaged in the lucrative holiday card industry.

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Nov+Dec 2021

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Evidence of the popularity of the Christmas card is easy to find in the Latah County Historical Society’s community archive. We have preserved more than one hundred Christmas and holiday postcards and folding cards from the 1890s through the 1970s. The wide variety of cards gives researchers the chance to see how both the quality and variety changed as new methods of printing became widely available. You can also study how the preferred aesthetics of Christmas and New Year evolved over time, and how the holiday card industry grew to be more inclusive of other end-of-the-year celebrations, like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Closely related to the holiday card is the holiday family letter. While not everyone is a fan of these “brag rags,” the yearly summary of a family’s experiences reveals a lot about the era in which they developed, as well as our personal histories. Since before the days of Sir Henry Cole we have used the final page of our calendars as an excuse to send updates to our friends and family, but before the advent of easy and low-cost duplication methods, most letters were written by hand. By the middle of the 20th century, however, mimeograph machines were inexpensive and ubiquitous. The technology allowed women (and it was and remains almost always women) to create a single personal letter that could be sent to loved ones near and far. As families moved farther away from one and other during the booming postwar years, this point of connection grew in importance. In the LCHS archive is one such family Christmas letter, compiled and sent by Lola Clyde. The copy in our collection arrived in December of 1959 in the mailbox of Enos Cornwall, who lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the time but had grown up in Moscow. Mrs. Clyde formatted the letter on a legal-size piece of paper and listed highlights from each of the past 12 months. It presents the reader with a delightful glimpse into this family’s joys. February’s entry, for example, reads “Blessed Event number one, Robert comes home from Korea. We wine and dine him the rest of the month.” Robert was enlisted in the Army and had been stationed in South Korea since 1957, and it is clear that his parents Lola and Earl were glad to have him home. October’s entry could only have been written by a farming family. “Erlene, Phillip and children are with us for Homecoming. Such fun! Still it rains. We give up on the last of the fall seeding. Too wet.” In the days before Facebook or even email, the family letter was surely a treat for many far-flung relations missing their family and friends. Another tradition that makes Christmas feel special is the decorating of an evergreen tree, often placed in a prominent spot in one’s home. Many folks know that the roots of this tradition (pun very much intended) reach back to ancient practices of societies as diverse as the Chinese, Egyptians, and Scandinavians. Evergreen boughs, branches, and whole trees were used as decorations during winter months and around the solstice because they symbolized eternal life and the promise of spring’s eventual return. It seems to have to been enveloped into Christian practices sometime in the 16th century in Germany. Other parts of Europe did not follow suit until the mid-19th century. Queen Victoria and her German-born husband Prince Albert helped to popularize the custom of decorating a tree in honor of Christmas. The popularity jumped the pond, helped along by German immigrants, and Americans began adding trees to their holiday celebrations in large numbers during the last decades of the 1800s. The explosion of commercial manufacturing during this same period made it possible for middle class Americans to afford ornaments and electric lights. Some people prefer to use an artificial tree, perhaps for environmental reasons like the 19th century Germans who first invented a replacement made of feathers in response to ongoing deforestation in their country.


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2 1. LCHS Photo 25-12-004: Latah County Historical Society Christmas party at the McConnell Mansion. Ione Adair and Bernadine Cornelius in photograph. Dec 20, 1974. 2. LCHS Photo Peterson.Ra.04: Robert and his sister Nancy Ruth Peterson with tinsel tree made by their father Milford Peterson. 3. Clyde Christmas Letter_SC 1988-62 – Lola Clyde’s family Christmas letter, recapping the year 1959. LCHS Archive: SC 1988-62.

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For many, however, Christmas just would not be Christmas without a freshly cut tree. Until the middle of the 20th century, it was common for families to harvest a tree from a nearby forest. As populations began to concentrate in suburbs, however, tree farms developed to serve growing families in America’s post-war boom. Much like the card industry, natural Christmas trees drive millions of dollars of sales each year. According to the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association, in 2017 4.7 million trees were harvested in Oregon alone, which accounted for total sales of more than $120 million. In the 1960s, the allure of Christmas tree farming called to one young man in Latah County. Larry French, then a student of forestry at the University of Idaho, spent part of his holiday break in December of 1967 transporting a truck load of Idaho evergreens down to Los Angeles. The venture proved so profitable, that French undertook the same project for the next three years, selling trees across the southwest, from Lubbock, Texas to southern California. He invested part of his earnings in planting Christmas tree starts on his father’s farm near Potlatch. The trees were an attractive option for diversifying the family farm, as the majority of the work involved happened during otherwise quite months. Just four years later, French had expanded caring for 30 acres and was doing both wholesale retail and tree lot sales. In 1975 French sat down with University of Idaho Extension Forester Vernon Burlison to share his experiences as one of the pioneers of Christmas tree farming in north Idaho. In the interview, French described his collaborative work with the Soil Conservation Service, which helped him identify the appropriate varietals for various locations, as well as his working agreement with Bennett Lumber Company. The entrepreneur was given permission to plant and tend to trees on Bennett land without charge, and in return he would leave a stand of timber trees for the company at harvest time. In this way, French quickly grew his stock. In 1974 he wholesaled 6,000 trees, mostly to well-established businesses in Boise, Spokane, and the Tri-Cities. One of the more striking parts of French’s account comes from his discussion of profitability and pricing trees. He explained that an average cultivated tree cost him $5 to harvest, pack, and haul. He might add a modest profit margin before selling it to a retailer, say for $6. The retailer would generally put a 100 percent markup on the tree, making it $12. Well in 1974, that was simply not an acceptable price for a Christmas tree. In that year, because demand for a $12 tree was so low, French ended up supplying 2,400 “wild” trees from Montana to business in the Inland Empire. This recollection of buyer sticker shock lines up with a short but significant period of economic recession. In that year, even the promise of Christmas cheer could convince Americans to open their pocketbooks. Today, of course, most folks would leave a store feeling quite jolly if they only had to pay $12 for a 7 or 8 foot tree. In fact, the National Christmas Tree Association reported that the average price for a live evergreen in 2018 was $78. In part, the recent cost increase is due to ongoing droughts and wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. Many producers also point to the recession that began in 2008 as a cause. Much like it was in 1974, the demand for trees dropped as Americans slowed their spending. Some tree farms diversified their plantings and others simply closed for good. Given that Christmas trees take, on average, ten to twelve years to reach harvest, we are only now feeling the effects of that industry shock. Latah County is still invested in the Christmas tree industry, with growers cultivating several hundred acres for the-


-wholesale market, and others providing the opportunity to harvest your own tree. One final tradition that makes Christmas special, and delicious, is the baking and sharing of holiday treats. From Thanksgiving through the New Year, plates of delicate shortbreads, beautiful gingerbread cutouts, and all manner of sweets get traded between friends, family, and coworkers. Growing up, I remember my mother’s small veterinary clinic be absolutely inundated with homemade treats from her appreciative clients. In a world full of readymade products, receiving a box of lovingly crafted cookies still feels delightfully special. Immigrants to America brought recipes for cookies with them from Europe. The Dutch, Germans, Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians all brought their unique take on cookies to the states. Until relatively recently, sugar and spices were still expensive commodities and the sharing of a sweet baked good was reserved for special occasions like Christmas. As culinary historian Michael Krondl has noted, “cookies are special because 100 years ago, 150 years ago, they included expensive ingredients that people would only pull out for these occasions two or three times a year. This is why they become associated with holidays.” Immigrants also brought with them the traditional shapes and forms of cookies that we enjoy today. Gingerbread houses trace their roots back to Germany, the location of the witch’s home in Hansel and Gretel. Cutout or shaped cookies could be found in various parts of Europe. Italians, for example, had a practice of taking limb-shaped cookies to mass where they would be blessed and, when later consumed, cure the pain that was ailing said limb. Some northern European cultures decorated their evergreen trees with edible items, including shaped cookies. In America, the form exploded in popularity in the late 1800s when inexpensive German cookie cutters became widely available to bakers. Cookies have been integral to the celebration of Christmas at the Latah County Historical Society for many years. Most Decembers, when it is safe to do so, we host an open house at the museum and welcome guests to enjoy hot wassail and homemade treats while listening to carolers and steeping themselves in turn-of-the-century holiday spirit. It is our sincere hope to once again welcome our friends and neighbors to join us for a Victorian Christmas next winter. Until then, we hope that you and yours have a healthy and joyful holiday. And to tide you over until next year, here is a recipe for Mrs. McConnell’s molasses cookies. If you give this recipe a try, we would love to know about it! Share a picture with us on social media or send us an email.

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Nov+Dec 2021

Christmas001 – Recipe for Mrs. McConnell’s Molasses Cookies, from “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” cookbook published by Moscow-Latah County Library and Bicentennial Commission, 1975. LCHS Archive: LC Cookbooks Christmas002 Exterior of a Christmas card sent in 1969. Notice the ribbon accent on the front and how much larger it is than earlier holiday cards. LCHS Archive: LC Greeting Cards.

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Flank to Flame By Tony Niccoli

You’ll never forget your first bowl. For me it came in early 90’s on a foggy day in Monterey. I was on a road trip with my parents, little brother, and our grandmother. We were heading up the coast from Grandma’s house to Palo Alto to see a friendly match ahead of the 94 World Cup that America was about to host. For me, Monterey was my favorite stop along the way. I was fascinated by the aquarium, made especially relevant by my absolute certainty at that point in life that I was going to become a marine biologist. I adored the Cannery Row, with an amazing history in and out of literature, and I got a chance to taste something I would never forget. Cioppino, for those who have never tried it would be most basically described as a seafood stew. But whatever you pictured when I said that is most likely completely wrong! This hearty classic is actually started with a tomato base and very Italian seasonings.


If you go back to the beginning in the late 1800’s – a little north of Monterey where I first tried it – Cioppino was a way for the community of Italian fishermen living in San Francisco to take care of each other. It started in the neighborhood of North Beach, just to the south-east of Fisherman’s Wharf. As boats would come in with their morning’s catch, they would all “chip in” a little to a communal pot that was already simmering and ready on the docks. Today might have been an especially abundant day for the crabbing boats, or bountiful harvest for the shrimpers. Either way, it went into the pot. Mussels, clams, rock fish, crab, shrimp, cod, squid, scallops, halibut – if you had a little to spare, you put a little in the pot. If you had a great day, you threw in a lot more.

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So, there they were, making sure that anyone who got completely skunked that morning would still have a delicious lunch, and a little something to take home to their family. Every morning, without fail, an older retired fisherman would be starting that broth when they knew the boats were about to return. Tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, oregano, white wine, parsley, red-pepper flakes, celery, fennel – it didn’t matter. Just whatever they could rustle up that day from the local neighborhood donations. As the boats tied off and started selling their catch, a crew member would hurry over with a donation to the pot. That sense of community along with the incredible variety are what make cioppino so special! Sure, you might find a favorite restaurant that has a special recipe and fall in love. But as soon as you try it on your own, or venture out to a different location, you’ll find that some other chef has a completely distinct idea of what should really go into a proper cioppino. And yours truly even goes so far as to use the grill sometimes! With an article that I know will find you deep into November, or even already into the bitter cold of December, I wanted to offer a hearty, soul-warming, favorite of mine – and extend that option of grilling, even though I know most of you will be warm and sung in the kitchen. First, for the real grillers, who are never truly satisfied unless there is a grill-line or crust present at every meal, allow me to explain my thinking here. Cioppino is meant to be altered, re-interpreted daily; always passed though some new imagination or ingredient constraint. So, I thought to myself, why not toss some of this on the grill? I knew that the broth needed those sweet shellfish notes to fully develop, but I reasoned that a fillet of cod wasn’t really adding to that melody and could be seared for a little texture. For my “grilling style” cioppino, I make sure that a white fish and scallop are both on my list. And while all the rest gets done traditionally in a large pot on the stove inside, I run out for a quick cook on the grill. I cook the fish fillet whole, and I use a smaller bay scallop and run a metal kebab skewer through them to make it easy to control and flip them all together. Like anything that goes onto the grill, both the fish and scallops get brushed with oil and hit with a little salt. In this case, I use less salt than I normally would because of all the flavors already working in the pot inside. I make sure that the grill is well-oiled before they go on as well to prevent sticking at the turn. For a 1 inch thick piece of white fish I usually expect around 8-9 minutes on the grill. I start by heating it to high temperature for a little extra sear, but I cook indirect over a medium-high heat. For gas, just turn it down as the fish goes on. For charcoal, keep that lid down as you come up to temperature, and time the placement for when you are expecting to be a little past the high point with the coals well settled in. If you have the grill all the way up to temperature before the fish goes on, and give the grates a last-second coat of oil, you can almost guarantee you-


-won’t be leaving anything behind when its time to pull it.

Remember that your fish will be on about twice the time as the scallops, so if you put them down with the flip at 4-5 minutes you should be perfect. Give them a flip at 3 minutes and close that lid again until you pull the fish. I also like to serve it with a good crusty bread that is thin-sliced, oiled and grilled, So I put these down with my scallops. In just a few minutes I’m ready and heading back inside with beautiful grill lines and a seared exterior that I think really adds to the overall texture and flavor of the dish. Since they are already fully cooked, I just drop in the scallops and break up chunks of the fish as the cioppino is being served. Again, if you don’t want to face the cold this month, or can’t find your grill under the mounds of snow, rest assured that a kitchen-only prep will still be delicious! So here is my basic recipe (sometimes). Remember to just go with what you find available that day, what you like best, or what you have on hand. If you really want to make it the classic way, invite over a few friends and ask them to each bring a random type of seafood that would normally go into cioppino – “chip in” and have fun seeing what comes out!

Starter Recipe: Heat ¼ cup Olive Oil, 1 bulb of chopped fennel, over medium heat. Cook for 8 minutes until it is soft, then add 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon oregano, and two finely chopped garlic cloves, cooking for a few minutes until you are overwhelmed by the amazing smell! Add a full can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes along with all the juice, and up to ¼ cup tomato paste if you want to thicken it a little. Stir in 1.5 cups of Pino Grigio or any dry white wine and 4 cups of fish stock or clam juice. Add 2 bay leaves and 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper then bring it up to a boil before turning down the heat and simmering for 30 minutes to reduce your stock and let those flavors dance. Add a pound of clams and a pound of scrubbed mussels and cover for 4-5 minutes. This should allow the shellfish to start opening before you add 1 pound of cleaned and peeled shrimp and one pound of chunked cod or halibut. Simmer for another 5-6 minutes uncovered until the fish and shrimp are opaque. Get rid of those bay leaves and any shellfish that haven’t opened before you serve. I give a little taste here and add salt and pepper flakes if needed, then sprinkle on some parsley once its in the bowls. Most places drop your toasted bread right in there, but I’m a purist and like to serve it on the side for maximum crunch on the first bite. But this is your cioppino, so ignore the things you don’t like, add whatever you want, and serve it up your way. I guarantee you’ll never forget your first bowl!



Spinach, Tomato & Artichoke Skillet Chicken Emory Ann Kurysh This recipe is one that you can play around with. I left the options open for the type of spice on the chicken, type of oil, and really even the chicken itself! You can use any kind, so long as it’s boneless. The most important things are the vegetables and the sauce. If you adhere to what is written, yours should taste pretty similar and utterly, utterly amazing. Ingredients: (For the chicken) 4 tbsp oil, any kind 4 boneless chicken breasts Chicken spice, any kind (such as Mrs. Dash) (For the sauce) 1/4 cup butter 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 1/2 cup chicken broth 1 cup half and half cream 1/2 cup grated cheese, any kind (such as parmesan or mozzarella) 1 tsp chopped basil leaves 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground pepper 1 cup spinach 1 cup tomatoes, chopped 1 cup canned artichoke hearts, chopped Steps: 1. Heat oil over medium in a large skillet. Season the chicken on both sides and add to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes on either side or until cooked through/browned. Set aside. 2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Throw in the garlic and cook over medium heat. Meanwhile, add the flour, chicken broth, cream, cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir until thickened. Finally, add the spinach, tomatoes, and artichoke and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes until heated through. Put your favourite pasta on a plate and top with the chicken and sauce. Enjoy! Home&Harvest

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a Cozy Fall + Winter Soup


Kitchen: Emory Ann Kurysh

Ingredients: 4 tbsp oil, any 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 4 cups vegetable stock 1 cup coconut milk 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 large yellow squash, cubed 2 cups Basmati rice, cooked

Steps: 1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add the garlic. Chop the onion and add it to the pot. Next add the vegetable stock, coconut milk, and lemon juice. Continue to cook over medium. 2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the stringy bits and seeds. Then scoop out the rest, cubing it and adding it to the soup. Cook for approximately 20 minutes. 3. In the meantime, cook the Basmati rice and set aside. Once the vegetables are cooked through, you can add the soup to a food processor or blend. Blend until smooth. 4. Return the soup to the pot. Stir in the cooked rice until completely combined. Serve warm.


Hey,

Yule!

Yes, you too can create Sara Raquet’s Bûche de Noël! Recipe on the next page.



Bûche de Noël Kitchen: Sara Raquet Ingredients 6 large eggs, separated 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (I used Namaste Gluten Free Flour in place of regular) 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder 3/4 c. granulated sugar, divided into ½ cup & ¼ cup 1/4 tsp. salt Filling 1 1/4 c. heavy cream 1/4 c. powdered sugar 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (you could substitute peppermint extract for a chocolate peppermint flavor) Pinch of salt Frosting + Decorating 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, plus more for garnish ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. cocoa powder 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 3 tbsp. heavy cream Pinch of salt Chocolate curls for garnish Cranberries for garnish Small rosemary sprigs for garnish Crushed peppermints for garnish if using a peppermint filling Directions Preheat oven to 350°. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl beat egg yolks until thick. Slowly add ½ cup sugar and beat until pale then beat in flour mixture. In another large bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar a little at a time and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter in two batches. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake until top springs back when lightly pressed, 12- 13 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes. Dust a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar and invert warm cake onto towel. Remove parchment paper. Starting at the short end, use the towel to tightly roll cake into a log. Let cool completely. In a large bowl, beat together heavy cream, powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, until medium peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use. When cake is cool, unroll and spread filling evenly over cake. Roll cake back into a log, using the towel to help create a tight roll. Place seam side down on a baking sheet and refrigerate until well chilled, 2 hours. Make frosting: In a large bowl beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat until no lumps remain then beat in vanilla, heavy cream, and salt. When ready to serve, trim ends and frost cake with chocolate buttercream. Dust lightly with powdered sugar and top with chocolate curls. Place cranberries and rosemary on log to create mistletoe.



Molasses Cookies Dipped in White Chocolate Kitchen: Sara Raquet

Ingredients 1 cup packed brown sugar ¾ cup room temperature butter ¼ cup molasses 1 egg 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon ground cloves ¼ teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons sugar in the raw 2 cups white candy melts Holiday Sprinkles

Heat oven to 325°F. In medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves and salt, set aside. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, butter, molasses and egg with mixer on medium speed. Stir in the dry ingredients. Shape dough by rounded tablespoonfuls into 1 1/2-inch balls. Dip tops into sugar in the raw. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls, sugared sides up, about 2 inches apart. Bake 13 to 16 minutes or just until set and cookies appear dry. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Melt candy melts in microwave per package instructions. Dip half of the cookie in and place on parchment paper immediately place sprinkles on. Let harden about 15 minutes.

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Heidi’s Book List By Heidi Pederson

It is that time of year again. The leaves are changing, college football is on the screen, and the air has a certain crisp feeling to it. This is my favorite time of year, besides summer. I often find myself wanting to curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee, good book, football on the TV and just read all day while occasionally looking up to see how my favorite team is doing. This time of year also brings up thoughts of what to do for my family and friends for the holidays. What do I get them? I am always on the search for the perfect gift. But do I get them another “item” for their shelves? Or do I get them a gift they can use? Oftentimes I find myself doing both. But one thing I never shy away from giving is books. I have seen so many different variations of giving books over the years. From giving children a book a day starting December 1st until Christmas Eve, to giving book subscriptions. My own best friend gifted me a membership to a book subscription club, which has truly been the best present anyone could give me. I could not have gotten through this last year without it. It is the gift that keeps on giving all year round. Every time I get that box the books come in I am giddy with excitement like a kid on Christmas. MY BOOKS ARE HERE! I get to start new adventures! What is not to love? Books are truly one of the few gifts that keep on giving for years to come. With the holidays just around the corner I thought I would share with all my fellow book lovers some of my favorite books to gift. I have broken them up into three categories. Books for children/tweens, teens/young adults and adults. Also some of these books could be read by age groups other than what I put them in. As with all books it truly depends on the level of the reader. I am a firm believer in reading whatever you want, whenever you want, just as long as you are reading.



Children/Tweens The Story of Grump and Pout by Jamie McEwan – This loveable story about two monsters who encounter a human in the forest and are forever changed was a staple in my household growing up. My mom still has the original copy of this book and my daughter, niece and nephew love it and ask for it to be read all the time. Your children will enjoy the pictures and story as well.

anyou With your support, another family is celebrating Christmas in their cozy new Habitat home. Thank you for all you do to build a better future for families like Breanne, Kelsey and Alora Leaseburg. Help build our 2022 home. From your own cozy home, make a gift online at palousehabitat.org/donate, Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse or Avenues for Hope.

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The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood, Don Wood – The Little Mouse & the Big Hungry Bear both like Strawberries. How do they solve the problem of who gets to eat the perfect Strawberry? The humor, bright illustrations and story line will lead children to want to read it over and over again. Room on the Broom by Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson – A friendly witch and her animal friends learn that with teamwork and quick thinking they can save a good friendship. My daughter LOVES this book and at 9 still reads it. Has rhyming, great images and is perfect to keep your littles entertained. The Berenstain Bears by Jan & Stan Berenstain – What is not to love about these loveable bears? They are always getting into mischief and solving their problems. They are classics and sure to continue providing lessons for generations to come. Beautiful imagery, great life lessons and awesome writing make these perfect books for young children. Any book by Sandra Boynton – All of Sandra Boynton books come in a small hardback form that are perfect and durable for little hands. Dinosaurs, Cows, Chickens and other various animals all getting into various activities. What is not to love? She has incredible imagery and great lessons for children. My own daughter and her friends have all been in love with her books. These are great books to read before bed. Not too long but long enough to provide a good story.

Teens/Young Adults Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling – What is a book list without this infamous series? Magic, Fantasy, Imagination, wild characters and loyal friends. This series has changed generations from young and old. I, as an adult, indulge in this series from time to time when I need a break from some of the heavier books out there. The Hardy Boys by Franklin Dixon AND Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene – When I think of mystery series for young adults I think of these two. The books are great beginner chapter books for young adults (or even older children) who love a good mystery that is not scary but also still provide a good “whodunit”. Isn’t it fun to read about a person your own age solving mysteries? Chronical of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis -- Mysterious wardrobe, magical creatures, family and adventure. What is there not love in this series? Whether your reader decides to read it in chronological order or the order it was written, it is guaranteed to provide many hours of entertainment for the reader.


The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer – Twins are given a book of fairy tales by their grandmother. The book is magical and transports the twins to a fairy tale world where they meet different characters, collect various items and travel through the fairy tale world. The description makes the imagery amazing, with the reader being able to picture the characters and scenes in real life. Young children, Tweens and young adults alike will love this series.

be

ready

The Hunger Game series by Suzanne Collins – Page turning, riveting, fast paced, just a few words to describe this dystopian book. Collins has managed to grab readers from all ages and genders with this book. How will it end? Who are you rooting for? Great series of books for all readers.

Adults The Things they Carried by Tim O’Brien --- A series of short stories contained in a novel that flows together seamlessly about the Vietnam War and the members of a specific company. I have read this book a few times and each time it still manages to give me food for thought. This is a great book for those who love historical fiction, war novels and are looking for something that is fast paced. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – This is one of my favorite books of all time. A fast paced mystery with a good twist in plot. I could not put this book down. Every single friend who has ever read it loves it too. This book is a great for all mystery lovers. The movie is not nearly as good as the book but then are movies ever as good? This is a great book for every mystery lover. Any book by Kristin Hannah – Every book I have read of hers has left me with a “book hangover”. Leaves me feeling like I just experienced the whole book first hand and lived it with the characters. Kristin Hannah writes a range of books from Historical fiction about WWII, The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression to friendship spanning decades. There is a book for every reader written by Kristin Hannah. The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett – This series spans from 1911 to the 1980’s, five families and their generations of trauma, struggles and where they land. Follet’s vivid description of wars, historical accuracies and character development makes this book series great for every single reader. I could not put this series down and felt like I learned more from these books about history then I ever did in my actual history classes. While big in size they are great books that read quickly and with amazing details. Any book by Jodi Picoult – Jodi Picoult’s books are great for current events and hard topics. She writes books that are well researched, well written and show various view-points from different characters. All her books leave you understanding more about the overall topic the book is about. From “My Sisters Keeper”, “Nineteen Minutes” to “The Pact” to name a few, you cannot go wrong with a good Jodi Picoult book. These are just some of my favorite books to gift. When out shopping this holiday season be sure to support your local stores and shop local. They have been through a lot this last year, like we all have, show them some love. From my family to yours I wish you all a Happy Holiday season and a safe New Year. Until next time fellow readers. Happy Reading!

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October 4, 1960 postcard: “Going to flight on Bus, then fly Cairo” H. M. Lorang, Genesee, Idaho, U.S.A October 10, 1960 postcard: “To Miss Vidi (Viola) Lorang, 621 1st Ave West Seattle 99, WA USA from Jerusalem, Jordan Dear Vidi, After 3 days here, we’re moving on to Beirut then to Istanbul & on the way home again. We have really seen some thing that I’ve dreamed of since Dad and Ma were here 50 years ago. -Henry” In 1918, during WWI, Henry Lorang had damaged his lungs while working in a 90 degree room as he was coating the fabric wings of “aeroplanes” with stiffeners called “dope”. In WWI the Army had supplied all soldiers on base with gallons of milk to counteract the damage done to their lungs, but it didn’t help. Henry had to periodically enter the hospital for the rest of his life with several health problems and he never knew when this would happen. Well, it happened again, in Beirut. Henry had been trying to follow his parents’ footsteps into Lebanon, but when he arrived, he took sick. He was brought into the Beirut Hospital and there was a furor. It was a fear that Henry must have Typhoid fever and he was immediately quarantined. Henry was stuck until his son-in-law Stan Sturgill, Joan’s husband, claimed Henry as a dependent in order to move him out of Beirut. OFFICE OF THE U.S. ARMY ATTACHE AMERICAN EMBASSY Beirut, Lebanon 26 October 1960 250/6 ITO Subject: TO:

Invitational Travel Orders Mr. Henry Lorang Dependent father-in-law of Capt. Stanley L. Sturgill 1 7879A, USAF 7405 Supp. Sq. Wiesbaden, Germany

1. You are authorized and invited to proceed from Beirut, Lebanon to Ankara, Turkey on or about 26 October 1960. 2 .Travel by United States Military Aircraft is authorized. 3. The government of the United States absolves itself from any blame or financial responsibility for injuries received by the individual listed herein while in transit and any responsibility for personal or property damage. 4. Authority: USAFE Msg SGHP 168443, dated 24 Oct 60. EARL W. EDWARDS Colonel, GS ~US Army Attache’~ But it still wasn’t over. While Henry was evacuating the hospital in Lebanon on a plane to Germany, the rumor got out that a man with Typhoid fever was flying into the country. The furor finally calmed down after Henry was tested negative as soon as he landed in Germany. Even yet, Henry had an amazing experience again after returning to Germany and staying to tour the country. He and his daughter Mae accidently stumbled upon relatives who had written him for help after WWII. Henry Lorang had received their desperate-



-letters in 1946 and was in the hospital; not able to help at all. Fortunately, these German families did receive Care packages from the States and they were able to survive and reestablish their villages. Here it is in Henry’s words: “Wiesbaden Airbase Feb 27, 1961 Dear Son, ……... For the past week is has been just like spring and in fact it is spring here. Pussy willows have been on sale, jonquils and daisies are in bloom everywhere and the trees and shrubs are ready to leaf out while the birds indigenous to this area are busily engaged in making their nests. Of course one bird that I miss is the Meadowlark and its throaty spring song. and also the Robin as we know it. There is a bird here that has all of the features of our robin except the red-breast and it hops around & seems to listen at the ground for angle-worms and the locals call it “eine Robbie”.

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In the summer of 1959 it was so dry that their crops were really suffering and all crops were short including the grape crop. However this shortage of grapes didn’t reduce that income too much since the wine brought money times more than that which was made from the grapes grown in a wet year. ………The best wines in all of Germany is produced from grapes grown on the lands that drain into the Mosel-river since they don’t have as much rain as they do in the Rhine Valley, and the very best ever produced since they have any record, were made in 1947-1953 and 1959 with the “1949er” in the lead. 46


Last August Mae and I drove in her M.G. to Trier and visited in the area where my grandparents came from…Mae & I were really in luck as we drove into the small town because it is a problem to find any place by trying to follow directions from an address but as we were driving along, we saw four or five men at work excavating a plot in preparation to put up a new building for their winery establishment. I asked Mae to pull over to the side of the street and stop and I got out with one of the 1946 letters you had sent me and I asked if they knew a family named “Widowfrau Weber-Orth” and they were really amazed to hear an American ask any such a question. They looked at one-another and said “Ya hier” and then I showed them the letter that I had received and the photos that my dad had given them 50 years ago, and they called to a ruddy-faced old lady who was sitting at an upstairs window and looking down at us and Josef Krauss said “Mutter (his mother-in-law) hier ist Herr Lorang von Amerika” and we all went to the house and I showed the letter to “Mutter” that she had written to me during WWII telling me of the hard times they were having since her husband had been killed in the war. At the time I got the letter, I too was having difficult times and was really too depressed to even answer her letter, let alone sending any money. I explained to them the reason I did not write at the time and that as time went on I considered the futility of answering at all because in a letter that I could write in German it would be difficult to make them understand. Needless to say they harbored no ill feeling and we were really welcomed by everyone and they stopped their work and all joined in celebrating the event. They showed us their home – it was lovely and they took us through their winery which was all run by machinery and they had large vats full of green bottles all washed and ready to be sterilized in preparation for bottling whenever that time came. I said green bottles since all “Mozelle” is bottled while the Rhine wineries use brown bottles…They can justly be proud of their product, that rare “Moselle”, as well as their family… As to the Genesee News that you sent I’ll have to leave them here because they’ll make overweight in my bagge at 80 cents per #. But if you want ‘em I’ll mail ‘em back for Rita sent me important clippings before. Love Dad” For further adventures of the Lorang family at the White Spring Ranch in Genesee, Idaho, stay tuned to the next Home & Harvest issue and have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas and Holiday Season.

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Sometimes you just know by

Keith Crossler


find, these days, that after being in the fire service for as long as I have, you tend to have a gut instinct to whether a call will be an actual call or not. Seems funny to think about it that way, but it’s true. When my phone sounds the notification (it sounds like an old school hose cart bell) for a call, I will look to see what it is and whether it seems like a “real” call or not. To be clear, not that every call for help isn’t a “real” call, but “real” in the aspect of it being an actual fire. Just the other day there was an article in the local paper about there being more calls, year to date, then all of the previous year total calls that were responded to. Out of those calls, there is actually a fairly small percentage that are “real” fires. So, the point I’m trying to make, is sometimes you just know it’s a “real” fire. This particular day, it was close to lunch time. I was at work, completely swamped, but as my hose cart notification went off, I just stood up and knew it was time to go on the call. The call was close to my office. I couldn’t see the smoke, but I just had a feeling it was going to be a bigger call. I boogied down the road and pulled off the side of the road to park. It was big. One trailer home with heavy fire blowing out the back side. Our Fire Division Chief pulled up just as I finished pulling on my turnouts. Since we didn’t have an engine on scene yet, I asked if I could grab his air pack out of his truck. With the ok, I packed up and was ready when the engine got there. Myself, and a couple of other regulars who drove straight to the call, quickly accessed the severity of the fire. If we were quick, maybe we could stop it before it consumed the whole trailer. The engine arrived. We flaked out the first line and laid it out around to the back of the home. “Charge it!” I hollered out. Out came the water. We hit it hard and fast, quickly knocking out the fire and pushing the flames down. With a solid attack, we adjusted to the grass around the trailer that was starting to make the run. We had a brush truck on the way, but if we could do a splash out in the weeds before it really took off, then maybe it wouldn’t spread any further. And just as we started to pour the water back into the trailer, the hose went flat. Out of water. It was amazing how fast the tank from the engine went dry. There was a crew scrambling to hook up to the hydrant, but it just wasn’t quick enough. In their defense, we were flowing water fast. It goes quick when the engine is wound tight and the nozzle is wide open. We found out later that someone had actually driven over the large supply line before it was charged and popped one of the couplings loose. It turned out to waste a bunch of time getting the necessary water to the engine. By the way, don’t do that. Don’t ever drive over a hose. Ever. It was horrible. Sitting there and just waiting. Watching our quick work begin to flare up and burn just as big and hot as when we started. Still no water. Then it’s getting bigger. Now the entire trailer is fully involved in fire. It’s hot, too. We had to keep backing up because of the heat. Mind you it was also around 100 degrees out that day. At last, we get it back. The hose comes back to life and we go back to work. It took a little time, but we were able to knock the flames down and get the trailer under control. Now, it’s a total loss. The roof collapsed and we realized it would be an extensive overhaul to get it all the way out. As more crews had arrived, and our low air alarms were starting to sound, my crew reported to rehab to get checked out. We updated the incoming crew with what our assignment was and we started dropping our gear. Being hot like that, you’ve got to cool yourself down and rehydrate. As we sat in the shade getting our vitals checked, the Incident Command came over to us and gave us the next assignment. Go into the trailer next to this one and check it out. The fire had gotten so hot, we were worried it may have extended into that trailer too. Home&Harvest

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We geared back up and walked up to the door. I could hear the smoke detectors sounding. After checking the door for heat (it was cold), I forced the door open and found the smoke layer about half way down between the floor and the ceiling. Damn, that’s not a good sign. We masked up and started our search. Using one of our thermal imaging cameras, we looked up along the south wall where there was the most heat from the first trailer. The kitchen and living room were clear. Then, in the spare room, we found a hot spot. Using my axe, I opened up the wall and found fire coming back at me. We called for a hose. The fire wasn’t big at this point, especially because we found it before it broke out of the wall on its own. As the line was coming in, I continued to open up the wall and ceiling to expose the fire. We knocked it down and went to search out the rest of the home. The next room was the bathroom. It too had a hot spot in an upper corner of the wall and ceiling. As I started to open up that spot, my low air alarm started to sound. So, we swapped out again. The next crew came in and we had given them explicit instructions on what to do to get this one knocked out with minimal damage or loss. Again, we stripped our gear and started cooling down waiting for our vitals to be checked. As we sat there and talked about our progress and overall how things were going, I noticed that the amount of smoke coming from that trailer started to pick up. Then, it started to get darker and heavier. Our Incident Command comes over and tells us to gear back up, he needs some more experienced folks to get back in there. Just as I was about have my gear back on, the crew from inside bails out the front door and hollers out to us “there’s fire everywhere in there”. They were told to go back in and start working it back. Try to push it. Now that we were ready to go again, we went to the back door of the trailer and called for another line. I opened the door and could see the entire ceiling was rolling along with the bathroom and the back bedroom. Best we could figure, once I opened up the wall and ceiling spaces paired with the air movement from the door and windows being opened up, the fire took off. As the first crew was pushing the fire to the back of the trailer from the living room, I dove inside the back bedroom with a line and knocked the fire from there and the bathroom. I quickly spun around and hydraulically ventilated the back bedroom to make sure we got it all. It didn’t take very long with us flowing both lines to get it all the way out. But dang, it was horrible to lose that trailer too. I really thought we had it under control. It was just the right push of wind with the hiding fire to make it blow up fast. With that fire under control, all the crews rotated out and the overhaul began to get it all fully extinguished. Sometimes, you just know. Know it’s time to go and help out. Sometimes things turn out much different than you anticipate. Fire is more fluid than anyone could probably imagine. But, that’s part of the fun of being a firefighter. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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Annie Gebel’s\ H&H reading

For the last reading of 2021, I thought we’d choose a card from “believe in your own magic oracle deck,” created by Amanda Lovelace. This sweet deck is gentle, yet firm - with a perfect message to move into the new year with. So, take a few breaths, letting your thoughts move freely and slowly bring them into focus around your desires for 2022. What are you hoping for? What are you planning? What message do you need to hear? Go ahead and choose your card and let’s see what they say… VOYAGE From the time we’re young, many of us are taught to look outside ourselves for answers. So, it’s no wonder that as you’re trying to find answers to something in your life, you’ve been seeking advice from others, depending on strategies that others swear by, and trying to find meaning but coming up empty or at least dissatisfied. This card reminds you that you already have the answers. You can be and need to be your own spiritual advisor for a time. There is a time to go to therapy or seek help outside yourself. Right now, though, you’ve got to tune into what you know inside and let that be your map. I’m meditating, reading, driving, cleaning...anything really. Give it a try, if you’re called. Maybe they can help you connect with you too.


One of my favorite ways to connect to my inner wisdom is to listen to whale songs. The first time I did it, it felt really odd. I’ll definitely admit that. Now, though, the songs and sounds of whales soothe and relax me and I love having them on while meditating, reading, driving, cleaning... anything really. Give it a try, if you’re called. Maybe they can help you connect with you too. SUNDRESS This card is a reminder that your desire is enough to go for what you want. You don’t need to explain to anyone or meet anyone else’s expectations of you. Especially if you’re healing from something, be sure your recovery is centered around you and not what others want for you. Even in daily life, though, we all need this reminder sometimes, to live our lives for ourselves. Are you scheduling your life around the kids’ activities? Do you go to work early and stay late? Do you want to change your hair or wear a different color or try a new hobby? When it comes down to it, you’re the only one holding you back - in most situations. I’m not suggesting you shirk all your responsibilities and go vacation on the beach for a month, but if that’s what would make you feel fully YOU right now, can you begin to plan for a vacation or bring some beach foods into your meal planning or throw on your sundress, even if there’s snow on the ground? Do it - something, anything - for you. You’re worth it. EXPECTATIONS If you’ve been reading along, this card and the last one may seem (and are) related. The Sundress card is a reminder to do things for yourself. This card contains a message to let other people’s opinions stay their own! It’s a little sassier. Just like you look at someone’s life (parenting choices, relationship choices, job choices) and judge them a little, others will look at your decisions and feel the need to let you know how they think you should actually be living your life. This card turned up for you to remind you that whatever they say and whoever they are - they’re opinions say more about them and societal norms than about you. So, do you boo! Make choices that you’re proud of and feel good about. Try not to rebel and simply choose to go all the way the other way from whatever they think you should be doing - but really truly tune in to your desires and let them come out in your daily life. Your opinion is the only approval you need. Whether one or more or none of these cards speaks to you about your year ahead, I hope it’s one you step into intentionally. Be well, friends.

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people OF the palouse by

gayle anderson


Doug Riddle Who knew taking over a family business and applying innovation coupled with the love of speed and racing would be the recipe for adventures that most of us only see in the movies? And to my delight and surprise was getting to interview a man straight out of my family’s 1970’s recreational forays from our moto-cross days. And with that, let me introduce you to Doug Riddle. Sitting in Doug’s conference room that overlooks the Snake River was the perfect setting to visualize his life for the past 40ish years. After catching up a bit, I asked Doug to tell me about his leap from moto-cross racing and being a motorcycle mechanic in Hilton’s Honda (a Moscow business in the 1970’s) to being the owner of a specialty jet boat company that built boats for not one, but two James Bond movies. If you have the privilege of knowing Doug, his soft-spoken manner on the outside doesn’t really reveal his talent in handling high speeds wherein he’s usually in the winner’s circle. Doug begins and says back in 1978, his dad, who was a boat builder in Lewiston, persuaded him to leave his mechanic career and step into the world of manufacturing jet boats.


As Doug tells it, he didn’t know the first thing about boats, but took on the challenge. The company was small and back then, their utilitarian boats were mainly used by the Forest Service or other government agencies. In noticing a new trend of recreationalists interested in jet boating, Doug started upgrading the interior of the boats and adding some pizazz to the outside. His hunch was right on target and manufacturing orders went from making 10 boats a year to 50 boats a year. He later sold that business and in 1991 started a different boat manufacturing company that focused on building small jet sprint boats. It was there that his business caught the eye of the movie industry. Doug says one day he gets a call that two guys in the movie industry from London are coming and they want to see first-hand what his sprint boats can do. Once on the Snake River, the men remove their fleece jackets, and are sporting shirts that have the James Bond 007 logo on it and that is when Doug realizes what movie the boats are for. The men then promptly order 3 boats for the movie titled “The World is not Enough” with Pierce Bronson. Then they advise they need the boats in 6 weeks and air shipped to London! As Doug tells it, it took 2 weeks to get the parts and materials, and he and his crew burned the midnight oil to make the deadline. After the first 3 boats had arrived in London, the movie guys ordered 3 more boats. Today, one of those boats is on display in Doug’s showroom. When the movie production began, Doug was flown to London to provide technical advice and show the crew how to operate the boats. He ended up staying 5 ½ months and during that time got to be good friends with the movie crew. It was during his stay that the stunt crew invited him to go with them to a gocart track about 40 miles away from where they were on location. In England this is a serious pastime and their go-cart tracks are unlike the benign ones in the USA. These tracks are set up to test skills and the cars go about 50 miles per hour. There were enough crew that they had to travel in two cars, so enroute the stunt drivers decide to race each other to the track. And being a passenger at high speeds in those tiny cars was a frightening experience to Doug, even though he loves the thrill of going fast. But everyone has their limits and as Doug said, he’s never had grass and dirt flying up as they are passing each other in the round-a-bouts. Once at the track, he realized this is serious business and the stunt crew had rented the entire track just for them. They were suited up in uniforms, helmets and have a transponder strapped to their leg for the screen board. The track itself has hills and tight corners and isn’t for the faint of heart. After watching the first crew duking it out for first place, it’s Doug and his competitors turn to have a go. Little did the stunt crew know that Doug has been a semi-professional moto-cross racer as well as sprint boat racer. They just thought he was “some boat dude from America” and they guys had brought him along to have a bit of fun at his expense on the track. Well as soon as the cars take off, Doug finds himself about car number 3 and then passes the other two and wins by quite a bit of length. Doug laughs and says then the entire rest of the racing sets, the stunt crew are determined to not let him win anymore, but says he ended up about 5th in the standing. Still a respectable outcome given that he was up against the best of the best drivers. In 2003 he again provided sprint boats for the “Quantum of Solace” 007 movie with Daniel Craig and the location was the Panama Canal. As before, he provided technical assistance and spent his days in the special effects department, which was pretty much like a kid in a candy store. For this particular movie, there was going to be a scene wherein Agent 007 has to quit driving the boat in order to fight off the bad guy. That meant Doug’s boat design had a hidden second steering control in the bottom half of-


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-the boat which is not visible to anyone. The movie was filmed at the mouth of the Panama Canal and each day they had to bring people and equipment from one side to the other. Well one day Doug was driving the boat from below and the Port Master could only see a boat without a driver speeding across the canal. He issued orders to have personnel intercept the boat and get control of it. Doug chuckles and says that when it was discovered that he was actually driving the boat from below and it was not out-of-control, it was then “mandated that someone had to be visible on the boat” as to not alarm the Port Master anymore. In between building boats for the movie sets, Doug was recruited to do “Junk Yard Wars”, a 2001 reality show on the Discovery channel where teams compete against each other to build something out of junk yard parts. Doug and team built a jet boat and you guessed it… won the competition.

“We set our own stage and script.” Today, in his shop Doug and his elite crew build high performance small sprint jet boats to a niche market that appreciates custom design and quality. They manufacture about 20 per year, with most boats going East of the Mississippi as customers have found these small powerful boats can navigate the smaller rivers with speed and ease. But it is not uncommon for boats to be shipped worldwide. As I think back to when we were all young dreamers in our 20 something years of life trying to make our own way in the world, it all comes down to having faith and courage to pursue your passions. In the end, success shouldn’t be measured by your bank account or social standing, rather by the wealth of a welllived life on your own terms and from my perspective, Doug has done just that. Doug is married and has 3 daughters and 1 son. Currently, daughter, Kelly and son, Patrick along with nephew, Sean are poised to take over operations once he fully retires. And as Doug says, he loves this business and will still stay somewhat involved. In my mind’s eye I can imagine Doug showing up to test drive the finished project in his 90’s to get his need for speed satisfied while day to day operations is handled by the next generation. When I asked Doug if all of his family love “all things that go fast”… he grins and says, yup. Doug and his wife, Mary Lou enjoy 11 grandchildren, so lots of future water lovers in the making. As with all my interviews, I am fascinated by people’s lives. Everyone’s life is a story they are living and they are the author. We set our own stage and script. If anything, it is my hope that stories from the hearts and souls of others portrayed in this series of People on the Palouse not only entertain you but that they also personally inspire you from their rich experiences in life and that you go for the gold.


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Leaving the politics out, I can only say this – anything to do with reloading ammunition, or for that matter anything to do with firearms can only be described as being a real challenge. Hopefully, this will be only a temporary situation. I have been told by a reliable source that the primer shortage will be corrected by the first part of the coming year. Well, I’m probably the ultimate pessimist so I can only say, we will see. I am glad that Remington ammunition is back online after going bankrupt some time ago. Thank you for the Speer and CCI conglomerate for stepping up to bat and saving this grand old name and many jobs as well as helping us in this time of need. Having said that, I do have to comment on a couple of issues to do with Remington. First, Remington gained an enviable reputation for accuracy and reliability with their 721-722-700 series of rifles in the 1950’s and 60’s. The people responsible for these fine works of art are now long gone, replaced by a new generation. Quality suffered dramatically as a result. An industry insider I know met some of these people at trade shows and was – let us say – not impressed. These dudes are undoubtedly now out of work at Remington and now involved in making second rate lawn mowers and food slicer dicers. Don’t laugh, it happened with Smith and Wesson back in the 1970’s when the CEO made some bad decisions and wound up working for a second-rate lawn mower company. What goes around, comes around! Well, recently I was at a trapshooting event and on the line doing a handicap round with a fellow who was using some Remington Nitro 27 handicap factory loads. Over the years this load gained the reputation for being state of the art. 5 or 6 misfires occurred in 25 rounds. Primer indents were all good and shells refused to fire in another gun, ruling out weapon problems. My electronic hearing protectors are quite sensitive and I can say with a great deal of authority that the primers did not detonate. My thoughts are that these are some of the last ammo produced before Remington declared bankruptcy. I think one would be wise to use this late production ammo for practice only and purchase some new Remington ammo for more serious pursuits. A few years back, during the last ammo crisis, I purchased a batch of 22 shells that were in no way satisfactory. It wasn’t just me, a writer for a national magazine could not finish a review of an AR Style 22 because he could not get this gun to function using this same brand of ammo. We have a serious problem with supply, but it can be rectified if we start thinking and acting with responsibility. Don’t shoot too much (sob!) and buy only the bare minimum. In short, don’t try to stockpile until the crisis subsides. Then, when the shelves are full again I would try to lay in a four year and preferably eight year supply. Yeah, I know, this could be a severe financial drain but it sure beats what is happening now. Stretch out the buying time and make certain your storage conditions are up to snuff in all respects. Another thing to consider is how hot are you loading? Most anything can be accomplished by loading a little below max. Your hard to come by shell casings will last a lot longer and your precious powder supply will last longer. Plan your range sessions carefully and slow your shooting speed down. Remember, we are not popping off firecrackers at a fourth of July celebration! Brass rifle cases. It used to be that Winchester-Western cases were the very best. Not so anymore. I’ve had the best life out of Nosler Custom and Hornady. In most brands, annealing of the case mouths has been of a low quality with case necks splitting prematurely. Weatherby cases by Norma have been by far the worst offenders. I have experienced up to 50% case loss after 4 or 5 firings. As a result I anneal the necks right off the bat and this has eliminated this problem. My technique is quite odd but it seems to work very well. Case neck tension is also quite uniform and adequate. .4 to .5 MOA is maintained with several loads in a 257 Weatherby. Here’s how I do it. Place your bottleneck rifle cases neck up in a pan of cold water. Water should extend up the body of the case about half to two thirds the way up. I use an ordinary household propane torch with a medium flame to heat the case necks. I like to play the flame on the necks from three different angles for 75 seconds to 2 minutes depending on the case size. Time is really not critical. Tip the case over immediately. After this your cases will look like new military brass! Make sure you thoroughly dry your case before loading! Enjoy! With any luck, the pandemic, ammo and components shortage and all related issues will soon be over and life will return to normal. Hope springs eternal!



So

You Want To Build A 2-Mile Rifle by Chad Kinyon


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So, you want to build a two-mile rifle? The first thing you need to ask yourself is a critical question. “Am I prepared to see this through to its natural and final conclusion?” If the answer isn’t a resounding yes, then spend the time and money on something that checks that box for you. For me, Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting checked that box. Please keep in mind that what I write is my opinion, and by no means am I a professional. I have been blessed with a certain amount of success in the field and continue to strive for more. I’m certain some people will have a conflicting opinion, to a degree, and that’s fine. You do you. But if you’re intrigued, then venture down the rabbit hole with me. Let’s build a competition rifle that is capable of launching a projectile a couple of miles. The first thing to consider with any two-mile-capable cartridge is that it will build extreme chamber pressure in order to launch a heavy bullet a long distance (usually between 300-600 grains). I will be using the Cutting Edge 377-grain solid copper bullets. They are individually turned on a Swiss lathe and are very consistent. I felt like it was a good balance between weight, performance, and economy. These heavy bullets provide what I like to call the “freight train” effect. Think about how long it takes a train to coast to stop from 60mph versus a sports car. Mass in motion wants to stay in motion, so you take something heavy and get it going as fast as possible without blowing yourself or the rifle up and let physics take over. The bullet’s weight will aid in the deterioration of the speed and deflection in its flight path as the wind tries to push it off course. Because of this, you will need to start with a robust action. Only a handful of manufacturers make actions that can step up to the plate and become an ELR rifle. You almost have to take what you are used to, or what you consider “normal,” and at the very minimum, double it. I chose the Pierce 10X action. It is 10” long with a 1.6” diameter and weighs slightly over 34 oz. This action is stout enough to handle most Cheytec variants, which seem to be the most common in competition. The action will become the heart, soul, and backbone of your ELR rifle, so this is not a place to cut corners. Remember, we are going big—really big. Take your time and choose what is suitable for you and the application. I have seen actions out there that are 2” in diameter, which would be the choice if you planned on building something based on a 50 cal of the 416 Barret cartridges. So, in short, and I can’t stress this enough, do your research and choose the action that fits your needs. A do-over can burn up the cash that you budgeted for other components. 64


More than likely, when ordering your action, you will need to consider two things. First, determine the bolt face size. Your choice of cartridge will dictate this number. I’ll address cartridges later. Second, decide whether the rifle will be a single shot and side-loaded, or a magazine-fed repeater. This decision will narrow your choices for a stock or chassis later on. I chose a repeater for a couple of reasons, mainly, they time all the ELR competitions. You have a certain amount of time—usually five to seven minutes—to get your shots off, and that’s it. Another reason I chose a repeater is I don’t have to lift my head off the rifle to chamber the next round. Keeping your head down on the scope increases your chances of seeing the impact several seconds after pulling the trigger, allowing for the appropriate correction. Now it’s time to find a gunsmith. The best way to find “your guy” who will fit your new rifle together is to ask trusted friends for recommendations. You will invest several thousand dollars into components, and if the gunsmith puts them together incorrectly, it’s just money wasted. Look at samples of the gunsmith’s work. Talk to people. Make sure the person you choose is comfortable with what you are asking them to build. People in the shooting community are, as a general rule, some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Most are willing to help anyone who asks for information or guidance. I have contacted people that I have never even met and received top-notch advice in return. Usually, they will say something like “let me know how this turns out” or “happy to help, good luck.” Some of these people will become those trusted friends I mentioned. At this point, you aren’t committed to any specific cartridge, just a family of cartridges. You have several other decisions to make before the final commitment to cartridge size. Be sure to keep in mind that quality components have delivery lead times, sometimes as long as six months and maybe even longer in some cases. Ordering something and having it in stock and ready to ship is an oddity, not the norm. The sooner you commit to a specific cartridge and bullet, the easier some of your other decisions will be. Plan ahead and know that barrels tend to have the longest lead time. When choosing a barrel, you will have to commit to a caliber and cartridge. The barrel blank will arrive at the gunsmith with the rifling already cut. It will just need to be chambered and fit into the action. I selected the .375 EnABELR for a bullet and cartridge combination. I briefly considered .338” to save some money on bullets, but when I looked at who was winning and what they were shooting, it appeared that the .375” was more popular and successful in competition. Your gunsmith will need to get a ream to cut the chamber and a “go gauge” to check the chamber headspace. Let him take care of those items, he knows what works for him. You will have to decide on a twist rate, contour, and length for the barrel. Make sure you pick a twist rate that will stabilize the bullet you want to run. Heavier bullets like spinning a little faster, so a 1:7 or 1:8 seem to be quite common. The Berger Bullets website has a calculator that will give you a better idea of what twist rate will stabilize your selected bullet. The barrel length will make a huge difference in how your rifle performs. Consider a 377-grain bullet you are trying to get to a speed of 3000+/- fps. If you choose a 20” barrel, the pressure you will need to build in a blink of an eye will most likely blow up your rifle. Home&Harvest

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Nov+Dec 2021

If you take that same bullet with a 36” barrel, you can use a much slower burning powder and give the barrel almost double the amount of time and space to build pressure. Barrel length also plays into OBT (Optimum Barrel Time). I know we are talking milliseconds, but it matters. Barrel harmonics are a tricky detail that we can cover another time. Slower burning powder and longer barrels tend to be easier on the brass, which you’ll reload and use again. The brass and barrel will last much longer if you don’t abuse the heck out of them, although you’ll have to replace these two things at some point. If you’re competing, have an extra barrel on hand. The 36” barrel for my build had a six-month lead time. Barrel manufacturers are businesses, and they pander to demand. These big-bore rifles aren’t their bread and butter, so they will take longer to get. If you have a good relationship with your gunsmith, and he can fit you in, he should be able to get it installed in a couple of weeks and get you up and running again if you have the barrel. You’ll also want extra brass—keep at least 100 pieces of new brass tucked away. These large-caliber rifles use brass made in specific runs, and you may experience a couple of months where it simply doesn’t exist anywhere at any price. Regardless of what cartridge you end up going with, you’re going to need a trigger. Triggers are funny little things. Get the right one, and you’re in love, the wrong one, not so much. These oversized actions create some problems for triggers. An oversimplified explanation is that they are a scaled-up version of a Remington 700 action. The problem comes from the width. They tend to be so wide that a regular Rem 700 trigger won’t work because the safety can’t get around the girth of the action. So, you either run without a safety (which may be a problem at some matches) or go with a bottom safety. The bottom safety is the better choice. These triggers—and there are only a couple of manufactures—place the safety lever just ahead of the trigger. You will need to engage and disengage it with your index finger instead of your thumb. It will take some practice. You want the trigger to be crisp with no creep and brake clean. Competition triggers have notoriously light pulls and can be adjustable or factory set at a certain pull weight. Most hunting rifles have a pull weight between five and seven pounds. A competition trigger can be less than 1 pound and as light as .25 (4oz) pound. The first time you dry fire one, you’ll swear a stiff breeze would set it off. It takes some time to get used to it. For starters, don’t even touch the trigger unless you are ready for the bang. As you get used to the pull weight, you will get more comfortable just lightly resting your fingerprint on the end of the trigger lever. Breathe and squeeze, soft and steady. The recoil will come as more of a forceful shove to the whole body than a sharp pop to the shoulder. Since we are on the subject of recoil, you are going to want a muzzle brake. They help reduce the recoil by venting the hot compressed gas to the side and rear of the shooter. Awesome for the shooter trying to keep his sight on the target, but, trust me on this, it sucks to be the guy in the backblast area. It will literally blow your hair back, and I have VERY short hair. You will need a high-quality optic to see your target a couple of miles away. If you read my first article, you know I’m a huge fan of Nightforce, not just because they are local to my hometown area but also because they are top-tier. The Zero Compromise Optics caught my attention on a recommendation from a friend, and I have to admit, I’m intrigued.

65


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-to the point of being works of art. A fellow in the Boise area runs Cerus Rifleworks and makes the most beautiful wood stocks I have ever seen. believe he uses instrument-grade exotic hardwoods reinforced with carbon fiber and aluminum for the most part. They tend to be popular with the F-Class crowd.

Oddly, they both have a connection to North Idaho and would be appropriate for this type of build. My personal choice for my build is the Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56 with the TrEMOR3 reticle. When you first look through it, it will seem busy in there. There are markings for elevation and wind holds that can get confusing at times, but let’s make it simple. You dial in your yardage and wind using your collected data and your best guess. Now, take your shot. You have several seconds to get the reticle back on your aim point. Now, watch for the hit or miss. If you hit, keep sending them with possibly a slight aim point adjustment to get into the center of the target. If you miss, chances are one of these dots or marks in the reticle is on top of that miss. Now, move that dot onto the target and send it. Let that very expensive tape measure do the brain work for you. Every optic has its limitations on adjustment capabilities. Most high-end optics will have roughly 25-30mils +/- of internal elevation adjustment, which would be adequate for roughly 2500 yards with a big-bore rifle. But remember, you need to get another 1000 yards worth of elevation to hit that two-mile target. After all, the bullet will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 580+/- feet of drop. Take a moment and think about that last sentence; read it again. The drop is measured from the line of sight to the target to the apex of the bullet flight path. It’s a lot like lobbing an artillery shell in more ways than one. There are two ways to get the extra elevation. First, is a prism that attaches in front of the scope, takes the line of sight, and lifts it up. The prism changes the sightline and angle, thereby your optics capabilities, much like a periscope. TacomHQ manufactures the most popular prism; it can add as much as 250 mils of elevation. The second way to get more elevation is to use an adjustable scope base, like an Ivey, which was the direction I chose. These are precisely machined mechanisms that physically change the scope angle in relation to the rifle bore. They dial much like a micrometer and can add another 60 mils of elevation by precisely lifting up the rear or ocular lens. In this particular case, it fills another need, scope rings. With an Ivey, it’s all one piece. As you might imagine, neither option is cheap, but refer to the first line of this article as fair warning.

The final choice would be a chassis. These are more popular with repeater actions that need to hold a magazine. They are machined from solid blocks of aluminum and tend to be modular by design. You can choose the buttstock, the main body, and the fore-end that fit your needs in the color of your choice. I have a buddy that runs a Tiffany Blue chassis. I think he likes the way it stands out on the firing line in pictures. A chassis will usually have places to mount all kinds of do-dads that you may need (or think you need). I went with a Cadex chassis out of Canada because it was the best option I could find that would do everything I needed. It checked all the boxes for me. Now, for the most part, we have constructed a 30-pound piece of artillery. Get used to laying on the ground because it is simply too much weight to shoot standing. Admittedly, it is entertaining to watch people try. I digress. But to shoot on the ground, you have to get stable on the ground. A good bipod is a must. Oddly, this is the piece of equipment with the most restrictive rules around it. It has to be like everything else in the build, stout. I like the ACCU-TAC HD50. It’s sturdy and fits within the KO2M rules. Rear bags are simple; whatever works for the shooter. I have this dandy homemade bag that supports my chest and shoulder, which takes the muscle tension out of my upper body while also providing the elevation support for the rear of the rifle. Betty The Bag is her name; she holds 25 pounds of rice and fits me like a well-worn work glove. The final item, and it’s no small detail, is that you have to get used to loading your ammunition. For the most, part there isn’t a supply of factory ammo for these rifles, and even if there were, it wouldn’t meet the quality standard required. There are a few loading services out there, but if you expect to compete, you’ll need to step up and start loading your own. Let’s address that next time when we attempt to get our new rifle shooting correctly.

Time to choose the packaging that will hold all of this equipment together and make it usable. The first thing to consider when ordering a stock is, “Will it fit the action and hold the weight?” These rifles get heavy, usually somewhere between 25 and 40 pounds. If you choose a single-shot action, you have a few more choices. You can get a fiberglass or wood laminate stock, or an aluminum chassis. To a degree, fiberglass is probably the most common. I’m guessing that is because they tend to be less expensive, offer many action options, and have shorter lead times. Personally, not a big fan, but that’s just me. Wood laminate stocks provide many of the same amenities as a fiberglass stock; with a bonus, they can be beautiful -

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“Alright, children!” Miss Hampton, the music teacher, barked at the mass of fidgeting second graders assembled before her. It took another 30 seconds for them to straighten up and calm down. Finally, they all stood at attention, eyes on her, just the way she taught them. This year’s Christmas concert would blow the socks off the parents and community. For the first time in school history, Miss Hampton had managed to get full buy-in from the teachers in the entire school district, K-12, for an all-school concert. The K-8 students plus the high school choir would fill the gymnasium on a massive set of risers that filled two-thirds of the gym floor. Miss Hampton only taught K-8 music, but when the Director of Arts, who was also the high school music teacher, abruptly left right before Halloween, it sent Principal Armstrong scrambling. How could they ever pull off the Christmas concert without the Director of Arts? Miss Hampton offered her services as interim until the district filled the vacancy. This included putting together the holiday shows and the suggestion to have all the grades perform in one concert, rather than separating K-8 and high school into two concerts. The bands performed last week, and now the choirs would have their go tomorrow. She was counting on a stunning performance with no shenanigans, so the district picked her to fill the vacancy permanently. If the Christmas concert ended on a sour note, the parents and community would most assuredly complain to Principal Armstrong. Those negative offerings might cost her the job. She was doing everything in her power not to have the children mess everything up at tomorrow morning’s performance. Today she took her last opportunity to fine-tune the students’ voices to sing like angels and make their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and community members proud. The community billed the school Christmas concerts as the events of the season, second only to the large productions put on by the local grange halls every year. Her goal was to outshine the grangers, drawing such praise, Principal Armstrong would be thrilled to offer her the job. She picked up her precious baton—the 14” ivory with a black, wooden handle used only during holiday concerts, a gift from her Grandpa Lionel. “Let’s get started,” she instructed the students. She tapped the baton on the edge of the music stand, and the second-grade students shushed. She then held up her arms at a slight bend in front of her and nodded to Mrs. Himmel at the piano to begin. Mrs. Himmel had worked with the school district for sixty-three years and never missed a concert. Christmas songs were her favorite, and she tapped out the beginning notes of James Pierpont’s classic, “Jingle Bells.” Miss Hampton conducted the children as they belted out the popular tune, waving her arms in a flurry of specific movements to keep them in tempo. The second graders tended to rush this particular song, and it took a firm hand to avoid chaos. The students shouted out the last “one-horse open sleigh. . . hey!” and she cued them into their next song, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Again, they kept tempo, harmonizing as well as any second-grade troupe. She yelled out, “Do a little wiggle to indicate you’re rockin’!” Of course, they complied, but in a somewhat subdued fashion. Miss Hampton was constantly reminding them to be mindful of musical decorum. They finished their rockin’, and Miss Hampton waited until they stood still and silent. “Now, as is tradition, the student who has paid attention, followed directions, and shown exemplary respect for the musical craft during our holiday practices will conduct the class tomorrow. “A ripple of excited whispers emanated from the youngsters. Conductor status was a big deal. “Hush,” Miss Hampton instructed. “Remember, whoever I select may also be chosen as the master conductor to lead the last song performed by all the students. I’ll make that announcement tomorrow at the concert before the last song. Alright, children, this year’s second-grade conductor is . . . “ Home&Harvest

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The children waited with bated breath, understanding the importance of this momentous honor; everyone in the entire community knew conductor was a distinct privilege. “. . . Otis Swan!” Otis jumped, hearing his name. He looked around wildly, unsure that he heard Miss Hampton correctly. “Way to go, Otis!” Clark, his best friend who stood behind him, smacked him on the back in hearty congratulations. The rest of his friends cheered for him as he made his way down the risers to the podium. Somewhat stunned, Otis looked up at Miss Hampton, his eyes searching hers. Just what in Sam Hill was she thinking selecting me? I never pay attention. He looked at his classmates in front of him; Carla glared with seething contempt. In fact, all the girls wore the same expression. But the boys, his best pals, whooped and hollered. A boy second-grade conductor hadn’t been picked since 1964. “Alright, alright, settle down,” Miss Hampton laughed. She handed Otis her precious baton. “All you have to do is tap the music stand when you’re ready, look at Mrs. Himmel to start playing, and then sweep your arms up and then down, out and in, over and over to the beat of the song, staying in time with Mrs. Himmel.” She scooted over a small wooden crate for Otis to stand on so the second graders could all see him. She smiled as Otis looked at her again in sheer disbelief. “Go ahead, Otis. Start.” Otis tapped the edge of the stand, looked over at Mrs. Himmel, and when she started playing, he moved his arms up and down, out and in, just like Miss Hampton told him. He felt awkward at first but soon felt the comfort of the motions and music. He began sweeping and swirling his arms and wrists throughout the two songs, which brought Miss Hampton out of her chair, clapping wildly, when they finished. “Oh, Otis, magnificent job!” As Otis made his way back to stand with his classmates, he noticed the girls fussing while the boys cheered, “Otis! Otis! Otis!” As he took his designated spot between Carla and Angela, Carla shot him a steely glare. “How did you get selected,” she hissed. “Yeah, you never pay attention,” Angela spouted. Although he didn’t disagree with them inwardly outwardly, he smiled and ignored them. He had no clue how he got picked. But he didn’t care. He would make Miss Hampton and the rest of the community proud. He felt the brotherly bond of friendship as Clark bent over and whispered loud enough for Carla and Angela to hear, “You’ll be a better conductor than any ol’ girl.” By the time Otis got home from school that afternoon, excitement and ego had taken hold. He crashed in through the kitchen door and immediately shared the news with his mom and grandparents—Ed and Helen—who sat enjoying a cup of coffee. “And I’ll need something nice to wear, Mom,” he stated to Mavis. “I think a blazer and tie.”


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Mavis’s almost choked on her coffee. “Are you kidding me?! The boy who only wears Toughskins and t-shirts?” “Oh, I still want Toughskins, Mom, but I also want a blazer,” he expressed. “Since I’ll be the best conductor, I want to be the bestdressed.” “Alright, Otis,” Mavis sighed. “You needed something to wear for Christmas anyway. I can run you into the department store real quick before supper.” “How about I take him?” Grandpa Ed piped up. Mavis eyed her father-in-law. “Are you sure?” “Absolutely,” he assured her. “I’ll supervise that he gets something presentable for all the Christmas festivities.” Mavis agreed with only slight hesitation. She knew the pair could get into mischief but surely couldn’t just buying clothes. “Dinner will be ready in an hour.” The warm, cozy smell of homemade chili and cornbread enveloped the kitchen. Otis’s favorite meal. “Don’t worry, Mom, I’d never be late for chili!” *** Ed and Otis strolled between the clothing racks at Minnie’s Department Store, eyeing the holiday apparel. Otis scooted over to the boy’s blazers. His eyes landed on a festive red, orange, and gold plaid, and he immediately yanked it off the hanger. He slid his arms into the soft satin-lined coat. A perfect fit. He whirled around and piped up, “What do you think about this one, Grandpa?” Ed walked over and inspected his grandson. The wild-colored plaid bubbled up a giggle in him, but he stifled it, not wanting to squash Otis’s excitement. “Oh, Otis, I think you look mighty sharp.” Sharp . . . and loud. Otis rushed off to the tie section and immediately grabbed a red bowtie. “This one!” Ed again held his giggle and nodded approval. “You need pants?” Minnie had watched the entire shopping experience and stood waiting with a pair of gold Toughskins in one hand, a red pair in the other. Her brother owned a Sears thirty miles away, so she had the luxury of stocking a small assortment of Sears items. “How about one of these?” Ed gave Minnie an “are you kidding” look. Surely Otis would select a more subdued color, like blue or black. Otis grabbed the gold pair and raced to the dressing room. Minnie swiftly grabbed a white dress shirt and hurried behind him. Ed groaned. What in Sam Hill was Minnie thinking? Gold pants?! He slid into a chair near the triple mirror on the wall by the changing rooms. He tried not to cringe when Otis roared out wearing his new attire.


To say the outfit was flashy would be an understatement. When Otis positioned himself in front of the mirror, the hideous triple-reflection effect multiplied into infinity. “Wow, Otis, you’re quite festive,” Grandpa Ed smiled. “Are you sure this is what you want to wear? It’s not just for the concert tomorrow, you know. This is it for Christmas. You’ll have to wear it to grange and church and our house for dinner.” “It’s exactly what I want,” Otis stated. “I want to look my best for the concert. I am, after all, the second-grade conductor.” He emphasized the last part as he looked at Minnie. “Oh, Otis!” she breathed. “Congratulations!” Ed again gave Minnie another “are you kidding” look, but Minnie just smiled and swished off to the register. Mavis is going to kill me, Ed thought. But when Otis jumped out from behind the changing room curtain, his look of pure joy melted Ed. He walked over to write Minnie a check. His youngest grandson would undoubtedly be the standout at the school Christmas concert. *** After consuming three bowls of chili and four pieces of cornbread, Otis ran upstairs to don his new clothes, then raced back downstairs to model for his family. He’d selected his white Converse sneakers to finish out his sporty new look. Mavis and Marvel smiled and said nothing, but the commentary from Otis’s siblings ranged from “cool” and “far out” to “you’re brighter than Rudolph’s nose” and “what in Sam Hill were you thinking?” Otis didn’t care; he loved his sharp duds and couldn’t wait to show off at the Christmas concert. The school gymnasium hummed with excitement. The massive half-circle of risers faced the menagerie of people awaiting the annual holiday concert. The din settled when the students marched single file into the gym and took their designated spaces on the risers, kindergartners on the far left, the high school choir on the far right, and all the other classes sandwiched in order in the middle. Grandpa Ed immediately spied Otis. It wasn’t hard. In fact, Ed watched as a large portion of the crowd pointed and snickered when they saw his grandson. Otis certainly stood out; the other second-grade boys wore either white dress shirts or collared polo shirts with dark jeans or slacks. And no ties. If Otis’s goal was to stand out, he’d accomplished it in spades. Miss Hampton walked in front of the audience. The crowd hushed. “Welcome to the first all-class singing Christmas extravaganza. I’ve carefully selected musical pieces to kick off Christmas in style. I’ve also carefully selected this year’s class conductors, and for the finale, I will select one of those children to lead the entire group for our last song. Enjoy the show!” The audience politely clapped, and the lights dimmed slightly. Ed glanced over at Mavis and winked. She grinned and shook her head. They both knew Otis was already the standout for the second grade, even before he started conducting. The kindergarteners stumbled through two songs, and the first graders slogged through theirs. Finally, the second graders were on. Otis confidently made his way down the risers to the podium, and before stepping up onto his crate, took a small bow with one arm folded across his stomach and the other stretched out. Ed laughed out loud. The kid has style, that’s for sure.


Otis stepped up on the crate and took Miss Hampton’s precious baton in his hand. He tapped the music stand, started to lift his arms into the air, but dropped the baton. It clattered onto the wooden floor. Oh, no! Not Miss Hampton’s special baton! He clamored off the crate to retrieve it, embarrassment filling him. He’d dropped the baton in front of everyone.

The audience erupted into a frenzy, the likes of only Mick Jagger fans could match. Otis made his way to the podium and crate, now sitting center stage. He took his signature bow, jumped onto the crate, picked up the baton, and tapped the music stand. Silence suspended in the air for a blink, and Mrs. Himmel hit the beginning notes to “Deck the Halls.”

And that’s when it happened. All the chili Otis had eaten the night before concocted into a situation that, when he bent over to grab the baton, released itself into the air for all to hear.

The glorious notes of practiced harmony and melody enveloped the gymnasium with a warmth only a close community can appreciate. Otis waved his arms in fluid motions, adding flourishes here and there for effect. Fa la la la la, la la la la never sounded so good.

BBBRRRAAAAAAAAAAPPP! It slipped out before he could even attempt to stop it. He quickly snatched the baton, jumped up on his crate, tapped the music stand, and flicked his eyes at Mrs. Himmel. He didn’t dare look at Miss Hampton. Mrs. Himmel was laughing so hard, the first few notes to “Jingle Bells” were clunkers, but she recovered, and the second grade wailed into the tune with Otis flailing his arms.

As with any student body, if given an opportunity for mischief, they will jump in with reckless abandon. And, armed with the ability to whisper a secret at lightning speed, they can conspire, knowing that the severity of any potential punishment was always less if they were all in on it together. When the final few verses of the song arrived, a distinct crescendo ensued.

The girls sang tried and true, but the boys belted out with gusto and laughter. Otis spied Clark and started giggling, too, and in doing so, sped up his conducting motions to the point that Mrs. Himmel couldn’t keep up with the children. Finally, the song ended in a speedy jumble of “aonehorseopensleighHEY!” The audience rippled with clapping and snickering, but Otis didn’t care. A fart was always funny, one hundred percent of the time, especially to second-grade boys.

“Troll the ancient Yuletide carol. . .” Otis’s arms wildly flailed. Here it comes! The big finish! “Fart la la la la, la la la laaaaaa!” The entire gymnasium exploded to their feet in a tidal wave of applause, laughter, and good cheer. Miss Hampton also stood, stunned, shocked, astonished, and unsure what had just taken place. Who knew her Christmas miracle might be Otis Swan and his voluminous digestive issue? That little imp probably sealed the deal on her becoming the new Director of Arts.

With confidence, he tapped the podium again, nodded at Mrs. Himmel—who was laughing all the way—and his classmates plunged into “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Relieved of their nerves thanks to Otis’s flatulence, they boldly belted out the tune while offering up some of their best rockin’ contortions. When they finished, Otis turned and stretched his arms out as if to shout out, “Taaadaaaa! The Second Grade!”

*** Community and students meshed together after the performance to wish each other season’s greetings. Otis received a showering of adulation from almost all the adults. He also received a solid dose of admiration from most students, especially the high schoolers, peppering him with good-natured ribbing about his melodious derriere.

The audience’s applause and laughter filled the cavernous space. Otis hopped down and scampered back into his spot. Carla and Angela looked at him with utter disgust, but the rest of his classmates quietly praised him with sheer jovial jocularity. The rest of the classes couldn’t hold a candle to the second-grade display. The next closest performance was the high schoolers’ rendition of “Oh, Holy Night,” the exquisite harmonies bringing tears to a few eyes.

“Oh, Otis,” Grandpa Ed put his hand on his grandson’s shoulder as they all made their way out to the parking lot. “Your performance was outstanding.” “I had so much fun!” Otis gushed. “I loved it! But Grandpa. . .” Otis stopped abruptly, indicating that Ed should stop, too, and bend closer to hear a secret.

Finally, Miss Hampton stood up to announce the all-class conductor, but before she could utter a word, the community stood with applause and cheers, a few chanting, “Otis! Otis! Otis!” An impressive job interview for Miss Hampton, to say the least. When the din settled, she thanked them profusely for the support of the students. “It gives me great pleasure to announce our final song’s conductor. . .” She paused, maybe for emphasis, maybe from disbelief of what she was about to say. “Mr. Otis Swan.”

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Otis leaned over to his grandpa’s lowered head and whispered into his ear, “Grandpa, don’t tell anyone, but I got a lump in my throat and almost cried during “Oh, Holy Night!” Wouldn’t that have been totally embarrassing to cry in front of all those people?” Ed chuckled, “Yes, Otis. That most certainly would have been embarrassing.”

74



Follow Your Trail

by Tony Niccoli



H

-forcing ourselves to accept discomfort and possible failure – to really allow us to see how far we can go. Reflecting on that and trying to imagine the path that led to today is what got me thinking about this article. A few years back, Heather and I were on our way home from visiting family in Boise, and we decided to take a different route than the one we already knew. As we were driving through Oregon, we both let out a little yell at the same time. Oregon Trail! A sign there let us know that a historic landmark was coming up, and we always love to stop for those road-side history lessons! Here, we discovered, was an actual chance to see the real Oregon Trail. As you know, we are both of the generation that spent countless hours in school’s library “dying of dysentery” in the original Oregon Trail computer game. And I have a special love of history passed to me from both of my parents, so I thought I had a pretty good idea of what we were about to see. We decided to save the historical sign posts for after, and just get straight out to see the trail. So there we were parked just a mile or two off the main highway, and walking out a short path to see what remains of part of the actual, original Oregon Trail. I kept my eyes to the ground, waiting to see two long ruts working their way across the open country side, bearing testament to all the wagons that had passed. But we never found them. In fact, the only thing that had crossed the path was a wide U-shaped gully of packed dirt. No wheel tracks. Nothing. As we walked back, I stopped to read the first sign in amazement. It wasn’t at all what I had expected. Thousands of wagons had left imprints, but the even greater number of oxen had done something more. Instead of rutted wagon wheel lines, the trail was that little U-shaped depression. We walked back out to it and stared in wonder, I reached down and touched the dirt. All of these families, leaving the east behind, abandoning their comfort zone, and pushing west for a better life. It was really inspiring to think of that. I’ve never encountered anything even closely resembling that amount of hardship and grit. For them, it started slowly, with a few missionaries traveling out west, following the trails that had been laid out by trappers before them. A few years later it was dozens of travelers. Then over a hundred. And in 1843, the flood gates opened on western expansion as over a thousand people made the journey for the first time. They loaded up 120 wagons, brought thousands of heads of livestock, and rallied in Missouri to start their migration out the promised fertile lands of Oregon and the great west. Their travels lasted five to six months, beginning as soon as the weather broke in the spring, and desperate to get across the mountain passes before the snows set in that fall. They traveled every single day without any breaks, hoping to make 20 miles or more with each effort. Their iconic wagons were up to six feet wide and twelve feet long. But most families only had the smaller, lighter prairie schooners, and not the giant Conestogas that are so famous today. They were built to be sturdy, repairable in the wilderness, and still light enough for a team of oxen to pull when loaded down with all the supplies that a family would need for both the six months of travel, and to start a new home in a distant land. They knew their arrival would be just before the depths of winter set in, and had to prepare for that as well.

How far would you go to build a new life? I’ve found myself pondering this lately as Heather and I prepare for some changes and new adventures. And also, as I look back on the last ten years and how far we have come. The magazine you are reading right now is a perfect example. I can vividly remember Heather first telling me that it was her dream to start her own magazine. At the time, we were both living in California for work, and looking to make some major changes to our careers and lives. Heather was the managing editor for a collection of 5 magazines in Orange County, and she enjoyed the work but wanted something more. We would sit and talk about how she thought a magazine could be better tailored to the community and be more interactive with its advertisers to create something special – and still free – for local residents. Something that wasn’t just advertorials and fluff. But at that time, Heather had no experience with the design or sales side of magazine creation. She had written for Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living and numerous other publications, she had worked on editorial calendars, planned stories, and worked with advertisers, but never actually been the one to create all the style and layout or sell them the ad space itself. And after a few days of talking about it, and realizing that it was something completely within her power to reach for, I remember when she just jumped right in! We got her a trial subscription to some creative software and she opened Photoshop and InDesign for the very first time. The year was 2013 and she didn’t even know where to start, or how the path ahead of her would evolve, just that she needed to get going now if she ever wanted to reach the destination. Heather gave up her job in California when we moved here, and forced herself to take that amazingly brave initial step. The first issue of Home&Harvest came out in November 2014 and it has been consistently growing ever since. I’ve had the pleasure to watch her continually expand on her design skills and dream up more and more creativity with each issue. Standing at this moment in time and looking back, it’s incomprehensible to imagine a time when she didn’t even know how to start a file in Photoshop or mock out a page in InDesign. I’m always proud of her when I think about the jump she made. And a big part of that was just being willing to leave her comfort zone and push her boundaries. It’s at those moments in life when we really grow. It takes something a little scary – Home&Harvest

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The magic of winter is a gift of earth frozen, hearts warmed, season’s love, and the promise of spring’s song. Merry Christmas from your friends at PNW!


Then one day, an afternoon where I was really getting burnt out, and starting to get down, Heather encouraged me to take a break and sit outside with her. We did something that we had first done before moving to Moscow, and starting the magazine. We wrote down all of our expenses and what we would live without if really had to. We had the list down to share a cell phone with no home line. No TV or streaming, downsize to one car but mostly ride our bike when the weather was nice, live off of a tiny food budget, skip birthday and Christmas gifts for each other, and never spend a single penny where we didn’t need to. We added it up. Then we paused to decide if going for it, failing, and having nothing but the memories, and a few years of rebuilding while we stuck to the decimated budget would be worth it. We made a list of everything we would be giving up. We made a list of everything we had a chance to achieve. It was way outside my comfort zone. It was going from scary to the point of feeling reckless to leave such a good job. But it was what I really wanted to go for. A days days later, we signed a lease for our current location, started the demolition, and made arrangements with my job to stay on for a few more months as we built the shop and they trained someone new. That was all it took – I forced myself to march a little farther every day, going to build coolers and cabinets in the evenings after work, and determined not to let a day go by without some progress. For those west-bound explorers, it’s said around 350,000 travelers took those early journeys along the Oregon Trail. And though almost one in ten would die along the way from cholera, drowning in river crossings, diphtheria, being crushed under wagon wheels, or the famous dysentery, their numbers grew every year. Congress passed the Oregon Land Donation Act in 1850, guaranteeing white male citizens 320 acres of land, with an additional 320 acres available to married women provided that they were residing on the property before December 1st of that year. It promoted the next great surge of travel to the west. Suddenly the risks of following the trail outweighed the risk of facing difficult economic conditions in the east for many families. The possible reward at the end of the journey was just too spectacular to pass up. By the end of the 1800’s, everything had changed. The west was quickly becoming settled, a transcontinental rail road had been completed in 1869, and settlers could spend a week on train instead of risking their lives for nearly half of a year. The trail fell out of use, but was never forgotten. We were lucky enough to get to see it in person when we chose to take a new route on our travels, and it really had an impact on me seeing it face to face. So here Heather and I are in our comfortable, modern lives, looking at some more major tasks and changes. When we first moved to Moscow, we were lucky enough to find a wonderful home. It was in a great neighborhood but the house needed tons of work – it had been on and off the market for five years and had been used as a rental. The power had been shut off so we toured it with the flashlights on our phones, and did our best to avoid the massive spider infestation, while ignoring the stench of dog pee. The fact that it was in abysmal shape when we found it worked out perfectly because it made it something we could actually afford! In our first year or two here we did some serious work and got it clean and livable. We restored most of the rooms back to the original 1960’s style, painted inside and out, and did a lot of landscaping. But as we got busier with the mag-

Wagons were so loaded down with water barrels, flour, salt, sugar, bacon, dried goods, cloth, repair parts, farming equipment, and barrels of tar. With all the weight, and the need to push the oxen every day, most travelers walked the entire trail. They might get a few days rest in a wagon if seriously ill, but many strode the entire 2000 miles of rough wilderness on foot. It was the job of the guide for each wagon train to know the route by heart and time the daily travel for ideal stops. They set out around 6 am most mornings after a quick breakfast of cold leftovers from the night before. By noon they would need to find pasture and water to give the animals a break. Before nightfall they would need to find a safe place to camp – circling the wagons to corral their livestock and preparing to cook fires to make their day’s main meal. Tired feet got a few restful hours outside of broken-down boots and they went to bed knowing that tomorrow would be more of the same. It is incredible to me to think of how long they worked to make that life change! And once they would get a few weeks out, and realize just how long and difficult this trek was going to be, it was far too late so safely turn back. Even if they had something available to them in Missouri or back east, it wouldn’t have been safe to try to go back alone. The point of no return, and the need for forward progress and success would have set in very quickly for families on that trip and no amount of preparation or planning could have ever set them up for the realities of spending six months traveling over that difficult ground. I’ve had a few times in life that I found myself wondering if I was making the right choice. Where I’ve taken a moment to look back and consider if I was on the right path – afraid to be outside my comfort and forced to adapt to a change I had readily sought. Once was selling all my furniture, leaving a stable job, and packing everything I owned into a tiny two-door hatchback to move across the country for the chance at a better job. And just a few days before I left, my dad offered to come do the drive with me, so I had to unpack the passenger seat and downsize even more! But I’ll forever be grateful that I did it. Both the trip with my dad and amazing time to bond, and the risk of moving to a new area where I hardly knew anyone – for a new life that sounded great but still wasn’t guaranteed. I think it was somewhere around Kansas that I really started to wonder. Should I be going back? Would I make it out there? Are we there yet? For the real risk-takers, traveling along a similar route through Kansas, they weren’t even to the halfway point. That would have to wait for Independence Rock in the middle of modern Wyoming. It’s said that they named it Independence because a wagon train had a real shot at success if they could get there by the 4th of July. It meant that they were on schedule to cross the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada’s before the snow set in. It was a joyous day for them to know that they had a real chance of victory. About ten years after my big move out west, I was ready for a major change with my line of work. I had a challenging, stable, and lucrative job that had even allowed me to go remote and work from home when we decided to move to Moscow, but I wanted to do something new. I had always wanted to be a small business owner, and wanted to have a shop that would be a part of the downtown community. I had been having a great time designing flowers for fun with Heather, and she would tell me about what it was like to work in a flower shop in US and the time she got to run one in Germany. It just seemed like a perfect fit for me. But it remained a dream for a really long time. Home&Harvest

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-azine and flower shop, we had to put some of the more daunting tasks on hold.And then one day last year, we just decided that it had been too long and we needed to get moving. We didn’t really even know the process but we knew where to start. We walked right in and gutted the bathroom that needed the most love. With the walls ripped down to the studs in most areas, floor torn down to the plywood below the multiple layers we found, shower panels on their way to the dump, and the sink and fixtures heading to the Habitat Surplus Sale, we had a blank slate. But more importantly, we had a call to action and a need to take the next steps. It was scary, it was uncomfortable, it was unknown – but it forced us to jump into action! The project just suddenly fell in line and with every bit of free time we could muster we took another step. It was that demolition that forced us to keep marching forward. Like a wagon train leaving Missouri, we were off and needed to keep up the pace. It became a truly rewarding project – and we both love the outcome! In fact, as I’m writing this, Heather is upstairs painting the ceiling in the other bathroom. Two of the walls are ripped out to the studs, the new tub is waiting in the garage for an instillation later this evening, and we’ve already got the backerboards and tile ready for the walls and the floor.

This one was a little less intimidating because we already know most of the trail’s twists and turns. Its just a matter of getting some daily progress and watching the goal get closer with each step. So as we look at the closing of another year, prepare for the next trip around the sun, and plan our next great adventures, it all seems much more realistic to just go ahead and dream as big as we can. The first step will of course be the scariest, and something will definitely “go wrong” or add sudden difficulties along the way. But we both know what it means to go as far as you need to in order to create the life you want. The vision you dream of. And that can be something major like learning the skills you will need for a new career, or something minor like learning how to install a bathtub. I feel lucky that we have begun to recognize that our lives, like years, have a winter season. If we want to be off the trail and settled before the cold sets in, we need to get moving now. And not let a single day pass once we start! If you aren’t standing in exactly the place in life you want to be all you have to do is make yourself a little uncomfortable for a while. Tear out that wall, start working on a new project every night, or just pack up and get ready to move. The trail is still out there waiting for you!


WE SEIZE THE (SNOW) DAY

You won’t find a more inspiring mountain town than Missoula, where three rivers and seven wilderness areas converge in the cultural hub of Montana. The allure is immeasurable, with outdoor access at every corner and a culinary scene that rivals big cities. This vibrant community is bliss for fresh air enthusiasts, creative souls, and anyone who enjoys a good beer alongside a great meal. Missoula doesn’t just feed the soul, it satisfies the senses.

NORDIC SKIING AT LOLO PASS

MEET ME IN MISSOULA! Sign up to win a trip to Missoula.

Book your stay and plan your getaway to Missoula. Call 1.800.526.3465 or visit destinationmissoula.org/hh for more information.


EVERYDAY NEEDS, EVERYDAY REWARDS. WITH AN ICCU PREMIER REWARDS VISA CREDIT CARD Start earning points and getting cash back for your everyday purchases. An Idaho Central Credit Union Premier Rewards Visa Credit Card comes packed with perks, including earning you 2 points per $1 spent. Apply today and earn 4,000 bonus points ($25 cash back) when you spend $500 per month for the first 3 full months. Plus, get 0% interest for 6 months*. • 2 points per $1.00 spent on purchases, and 2x seasonal bonus point categories • No annual fee, no balance transfer fees, and no cash advance fees. • CardControl, Identity Theft Protection, and free card fraud monitoring • Travel perks and protection • 24/7 access with Mobile and Online Banking • And much more

Apply Today

WE BELIEVE life should be rewarding.

ICCU.COM/VisaRewards

* Bonus point offer is only applicable for new consumer Premier Rewards Card accounts. New consumer Premier Rewards Card accounts earn 4,000 points. 4,000 points is equivalent to $25 cash back. Cash back redeemable at https://rewards.iccu.com/. Cash back paid as statement credit to cardholder. Cardholder(s) must spend an account aggregate of $500 every 30 days for the first 90 days from account opening to receive bonus points rewards. Bonus point earnings will be applied and eligibility will be calculated at the account level; not by card. Only new purchases and transactions posted with code CCP that earn points are eligible for rewards. Balance transfers do not qualify for points. Bonus points will be awarded once to each qualifying member account. Points will be posted during the first, full month following the promotion and 90-day spend period. New consumer Premier Rewards Card accounts will receive 0% interest for the first 6 months immediately following the opening of the account(s). Must sign up and have a new consumer Premier Rewards Card account to participate. Offer not valid for ICCU business rewards cards, or members who currently hold a consumer ICCU Rewards or consumer Premier Rewards account. All loans OAC.


Your Health Matters COVID-19 took a toll on routine medical screenings as 4 in 10 U.S. adults delayed their care, causing many to go undiagnosed and untreated.* We would like to remind our community to please keep up with your preventative care to help avoid serious complications down the road. Seeking care is safe – keep taking care of yourself, because when you take care of yourself, you are taking care of everyone.

ANNUAL WELLNESS CHECKUP

An individualized schedule of preventative services that may include screenings and physicals.

IMMUNIZATIONS

Routine immunizations help protect from serious health conditions such as the flu, tetanus, measles, and whooping cough.

COLONOSCOPY

Those ages 50+ should receive an annual colonoscopy. This exam is used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine and rectum.

MAMMOGRAMS

A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early.

SCHEDULE YOUR PREVENTATIVE CARE APPOINTMENT TODAY! *Information from: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a4.htm


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