I have never struggled writing my editor’s letter as much as I have this past year, and now, this issue. In fact, I’ve rewritten it so many times because I keep glossing over the truth: I’m feeling powerless to be any sort of positive change in the world. I wrote a draft on loneliness, and how small acts of kindness are the antidote. I wrote about connection, and how each writer unknowingly touched on in this issue what’s missing so badly in our world today. How tales of our community in the yesterdays peppered with nostalgia are like a salve on the shallow social media relationships we cling to today. But I keep going back to one thing that’s tugging on my heartstrings. The truth. How can you make and be the change you wish to see in the world? In a world where we are becoming increasingly divided? I have been feeling lost. And then today, I realized that perhaps its just time for me to share some words of wisdom that I didn’t write, but am increasingly inspired by. I found it- in all places- while scrolling online. I don’t know where it came from or who wrote it. But I can’t be the only one who needs to read it. I have a feeling I have been saving this to share just for you. Note to Self “What is my purpose in life?” I asked the void. “What if I told you that you fulfilled it when you took an extra hour to talk to that kid about his life?” said the voice. “Or when you paid for that you couple in the restaurant? Or when you saved that dog in traffic? Or when you tied your father’s shoes for him?” “Your problem is that you equate your purpose with goal-base achievement. The Universe isn’t interested in your achievements… just your heart. When you choose to act out of kindness, compassion and love, you are already aligned with your true purpose. No need to look any further!” I wish you love, joy. I wish you peace. And if nothing else, I hope reading this magazine brings you a small slice of happiness and nostalgia, a safe and saturated corner into the depths of my heart. To all who help me create this, from the businesses who support me, to the writers who weave the pages, to my own husband who encourages me endlessly, thank you. Here’s to a beautiful fall, a bountiful harvest, and inspiring the best in ourselves and others. To aligning with our true purpose. To kindness, compassion and love. With gratitude,
Heather Niccoli Editor-In-Chief Home&Harvest Magazine
editor . sales . design
e publisher tony niccoli po box 9931 moscow, id 83843
zachary wnek gayle anderson temple kinyon joe evans ashley centers vicki leeper emory ann kurysh keith crossler dawn evans tony niccoli
Contents 22 28 34 36 40 50 56
Beer can chicken mixed nut bars Sweater pumpkins field operations the phantom mega tahr disabled af harvest
latah county word wizard: zachary wnek
Communities in Latah County allow us to grow together to achieve common goals. Let’s take a look at how communities in Latah County celebrated their hard work together. I hope that by examining these celebrations, we can see how communities knit their citizens together. If you are interested in rural communities across the country, please drop by the Moscow Chamber of Commerce until October 4th to see the exhibition Crossroads. This exhibition comes to Latah County from the Smithsonian Institution and more specifically the Museums on Main Street program. The exhibition highlights the following sentiment: “All Americans benefit from rural America’s successes. We can learn great things from listening to those [rural American] stories.” Norla Callison recalls the rich tradition of the butchering bee on American Ridge. This tradition took place two times per year (in the winter) when all of the neighbors would get together to slaughter their beef and hogs. The butchering bee was a celebration in which the entire community would join together. Men would slaughter and prepare the meat while women and children would be making a large dinner. These sort of special occasions called for a special meal. On American Ridge, Oyster Stew was a favorite made with canned oysters and milk among other ingredients. The butchering bee was much more than a shared meal and pooled labor. The bees included additional activities that ran through the day and into the night such as a campfire and pond ice skating. William Burkland who lived in Bear Creek and Deary remembers Saturday evenings when neighbors would convene at someone’s home and celebrate with food and fun. The activities for the evening included dancing and playing cards, naturally organized by the host or hostess. Sometimes people got a bit carried away with their entertainment. Hershiel Tribble remembers house parties in which people got so carried away at the party whereupon they slept at the party site. These parties, also known as house sweats, included games and live music. Although the house parties were fun, some of the most fun seems to have come at school, after hours. School programs included literaries and debates.
ABOVE: 30-04-095 - Costume party at guild hall. 1926-1927 BELOW 30-04-093 - Folk Dancers with accordion accompaniment
Tribble recalls the debates being a lot of fun. A topic was selected, and sides taken. Tribble recalls that these debates were over trivial issues such as “The Horse vs. the Cow: Which is more valuable.” These debates would run into the night and provide humor for everyone participants and audience alike. Ruby Canfield Wheeler, a pianist, recalls going to Princeton’s celebrations, particularly on Independence day. Festivities would include speakers, dances, races, and a parade. The parties would gather people together for two or three days beginning in the afternoon, taking a break for dinner, and then continue playing until early in the morning. The band would play waltzes, foxtrots, and square dances mainly. Wheeler remembers playing in Bovill with her band as they traveled from Harvard: “We played up there every Friday night for years. We’d get on the train at Harvard at six, and it’d take about an hour to get to Bovill, and we’d start playing about eight and play til about five in the morning. And then we would go down and the train would be ready to pull out, and it’d pull out at seven, and then we’d go home on the morning train.” Wheeler recalls some dust-ups transpired during these dances. Reflecting on her experiences, Wheeler couldn’t remember a dance where there wasn’t at least one fight. Wheeler attributes rowdy behavior: “Just drinking. Get to drinking and you know your feelings are awfully easily hurt when you’re drinking. If someone’d touch you why you’d hit him. I don’t think even they knew what they were fighting about.” These sort of celebrations happened throughout the county and for a variety of reasons. In late June, Theodore Sundell recalls midsummer picnics which included a spiritual program, and games. Sundell remembers games such as horseshoes and tug of war. One year Sundell recalls a tug of war between Troy and Moscow with no less than twelve pullers per side. John Delean, of Troy, had a strong sense of fair play. When John Delean noticed that Moscow had an extra puller he waited until nobody was paying attention then he punched one of them in the temple. The unsuspecting person collapsed and the sides were even again. Sundell continues to remember Troy celebrations where there was a parade in the morning and sawing competitions in the park: “they had log sawing, see who could saw the most logs. Saw up the most pieces. The fastest. So the park was full of people, They sat all around there. And then in the afternoon they had a, they ‘d I never went there. And then they’d play ball. So the whole day went. And then in the evening they danced. They had dances at different places. It was real nice … You got to see people you haven’t seen for many years, And people come for this, It was real nice. You sit on the benches and visit with people and went and eat.” Celebrations came in all forms throughout Latah County’s history. These sort of festivities, small and large, gave people a reason to congregate with their neighbors. I believe that through these shared experiences, people became closer with their neighbors and strengthened their community bonds.
ABOVE: 06-06-025 - Lenville School located between Genesee and Moscow taken during an Independence Day celebration. Exact date unknown, believed to be between 1897-1900. BELOW: 30-04-061 - Photograph of a party believed to have been taken at the old Moscow Grange Hall
The Latah County Historical Society is hosting two such events in the coming months that we hope will support this type of community spirit. The first of which is an exhibition which we are borrowing from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., entitled Crossroads. This exhibition looks at the role of togetherness in rural communities and how close-knit connections help to keep rural communities vibrant. This exhibition will be at the Moscow Chamber of Commerce until October 4th, 2019. The next community event that LCHS is hosting will be our second Lanterns and Luminaries event. We invite people from throughout the county to join us as we recognize people and organizations who have made an impact on our shared history. Recognition is in the form of luminaries, which are labeled paper bags with a candle inside to illustrate the light that these people and organizations have shed on Latah County. This event is free and open to the public. It will be held on September 29th in East City Park in Moscow from 6-8pm. Recognition is open to the public for a $10 donation to the Latah County Historical Society. Thank you all for taking the time to strengthen our communities. I believe that it is through these bonds that we all get stronger.
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I come from a long line of storytellers and supportive people which includes both family & those who are like family. This past summer my sweetheart Rod, my mom, my daughter Jen & the grand-angels spent the 4th of July weekend camping with the crazy Montana relatives. And besides another goofy skit performed, (the video captured in my blog www.swheatfarmlife.net), the main part of the gathering was centered on conversations which would then lead into telling stories. The Montana crew are the best at storytelling, even on topics like hunting which hold no interest for me, their tales are entertaining and make you feel like you are right there with them. Words paint pictures in your mind and actions in our day-to-day life also weaves a visual story for those around us. While growing up, my cousins lived only about 3 blocks from each other and most of their stories are intermingled as they did so many things together. I was envious of the rich experiences the cousins had together, which by the way are still on-going. They are a fun & lively bunch! And so wherever we were living, my family focused on making our own adventures with people who were part of our lives. Sometimes a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visual life story will have an impact on you that you may not realize till you are a grown-up. And as for sharing stories, well I like to share mine with you in writing.
Until I was in the 7th grade we lived all over Montana and parts of South & North Dakota in a 10x50 mobile home. My folks did the best they could in raising us three kids and trying to keep a sense of stability in a chaotic life that sometimes meant a yearly move to a new town. I especially admire my mom who tended the home fires while working full-time to help put food on the table. Being in construction, it often meant my dad lived in yet another town and would come home on weekends. Sept/Oct 2019 18
It wasn’t until we moved to Moscow that we had a final destination when we landed here one beautiful March day. My family and I moved our trailer into a newer mobile home park located a few miles from town and was directly across the road from an iconic white farmhouse with a red barn. Being so used to moving and being the new kids, my brothers (Doug & Barry) and I would scope out our new neighborhood to see if there were other kids to play with. As it turns out the white farm house was home to a fairly large tribe of kids, which 4 were still at home and some close to our age. We quickly became instant friends just like kids do and many hours were spent across the street. Mrs. Paul was the epitome of the kind of person you would think of as the perfect farm-wife. I remember her always wearing dresses with an apron and was this sweet, humble and gentle person. I think she enjoyed the extra set of kiddos who became a regular part of their family. Sometimes I’d attend church with them, but mostly it was spent with Marilyn, the girl who was a year older than me. When we weren’t hanging out with her brothers and mine, we’d listen to music and talk about typical teen girl stuff. My brothers mainly hung out with the youngest boy, Russell and the wide-open space of their farm was a magnet for all sorts of creative adventures. One spring day somehow they came upon a styrofoam boat (seriously) and decided to launch it in the spring swollen creek for a rafting voyage. After a summer of using it, the boat fell apart, thankfully while not in the water. Most days during the summer we would swing on the rope inside the barn, played hiden-seek, and had dirt clod fights followed by water fights. My brothers learned other interesting things hanging out with farm boys, such as peeing on an electric fence…. Then of course, when their younger male Montana cousins came to visit, they imparted the lesson about the electric fence by having the cousins try it out for themselves. I’m not sure our mom ever knew exactly what we were doing, except we would come home dirty and worn out from our escapades. A few times I would help in their garden and was happily the kitchen help when Mrs. Paul was canning. Come August, we would get the offer of riding on the combine, which back then was an open-air version and didn’t have a cab on it. This meant there was lot of dirt, chaff and breathing in dust, but we all loved it. Mr. Paul, as I remember, was always dressed in bib overalls and wore a hat. He was sort of stern, so we were quiet around him and minded our manners as best we could. Come winter, us kids would spend hours climbing the snowy hills and sliding down on inner tubes or a toboggan until we were so cold that our hands and feet were numb. Then the warm kitchen beckoned as we thawed out leaving piles snow pants, coats & boots in their entryway. It was a beautiful time in our childhood and being connected to their lives I think it helped shape our lives a little bit.
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For me, it started the seeds of loving life in rural America as well as agriculture. Looking back, Mr. & Mrs. Paul could have been the iconic portrait of the American Gothic painting except I think Mrs. Paul would have been smiling. Their life story was about leading a quiet unassuming life tending crops and kids and being active in their church. The kind of people who make you glad you were a part of their lives and ones who opened their home to three trailer-rat kids. A few years later we moved to our own white farmhouse with a barn just outside the Moscow city limits. And then we got a German shepherd/lab puppy which we named Ruff. We missed the Pauls, but by then I was in high school, working parttime boxing groceries and my brothers helped our dad in his construction business on weekends. Life was busy, but not too busy to not continue the tradition of dirt clod fights and water fights. Only thing different was I was the only girl around with my brother’s buddies, and our water fights got a little extreme when we would climb up on the roof of the house to get a better angle to douse the unsuspecting target with water. As the dog grew into adulthood, he was our constant companion and tried to participate in everything we did. We developed the game of “annoy the dog” by sliding down the barn’s hay shoot, which Ruff refused to do with his 125 lb frame, and then he’d be pissy and would have to run back through the barn down the steps and find us. Once he found us, his nip at our leg indicated he wasn’t too happy with us.
Same thing happened when we played in snow, we’d put Ruff in the front of the toboggan and by the time we got to the bottom of the hill he’d have snow all over his face and was grumpy. We quickly learned to not take him on the inner tube with us as he would bail off halfway down the hill which would then send us tumbling down, too. And to extract his revenge, the dog would target me, who by then outweighed me and would grab my left mitten. I’d try to keep it on, but he’d end up dragging me around screaming, only to the delight of my brothers… ugh. I’d release my grip on my mitten, the dog would run off with it and they never were found. And had we grown up next to my cousins and stayed in one town, well I might have ended up being boring and maybe normal (lol) by not being forced to get outside my comfort zone. The experiences of seeing life from different views of living in so many places helped mold me to find my balance in new situations. It also made me appreciate all the people that shaped me into a happy but imperfect and slightly crazy version of me. It gave me a love of all things connected to agriculture and putting down roots to create my version of a well lived life. And now that I live in my own perfect farmhouse with a red barn, I’ve come full circle. A place to call home where stories, both mine and others, will be shared as they take a seat at my table so I can hear their tales. And in closing, I hope you take a moment to honor all the stories and experiences that you have lived and to continue creating new stories, as they make you YOU.
All my best, Gayle
Shenanigans written by
tony niccoli For the last few issues, we have been working in series to start a novice griller on the path to getting more comfortable cooking on flame, and more adventurous in the types of meats and recipes that they are confident to try. We started with humble brats and sausages, moved to simple steaks, took on fish, and then advanced to multi-tasking with a shrimp appetizer followed quickly by delicious burgers. And today, my daring companion, we are going to take a big leap in complexity and importance of cook temperature. Since this is the penultimate article in the yearlong series, I want to step up to chicken! And not just simple chicken on the grill – for those willing to stretch their limits, we are going to do a fabled recipe that is almost always mentioned with awe and reverence. Guess what? Beer can in a chicken butt! Let’s stop here for a moment – some of the more serious and seasoned grillers just laughed at me. If you have been reading this column for a few years you know I love to learn the science behind cooks, and that I don’t go for fads, gadgets, or trickery. I like simple, juicy, flavorful grilling based on solid fundamentals. So beer butt bird is likely to raise a laugh. Let me say this – I firmly believe in Santa Claus. And I know that people who do so as well enjoy Christmas more. Chickens cooked on a beer can make your cookout more fun, wow guests, build pride in the grill master, and elevate a simple protein to mythical status. I believe because I choose to believe not because of evidence. I even go on pretending that the choice of beer is part of the secret to my flavor. I strongly recommend that you do this as well – choose to believe and see what happens. (Full disclosure for the pros – no, I know that the beer won’t actually vaporize or in any way flavor the bird; yes, I know that it’s my seasoning that gives the taste; and yes, I know that it cooks quicker with a little more retention of juices by halving the bird and cooking on the grates directly.) Yes, I believe! So I go on sticking a can up there while swearing by Tecate, a nice Kolsch, or when I can find it, just about anything by Great Lakes. Does Great Lakes beer really flavor my bird – no! But I enjoy drinking them and get nostalgic for memories past. And the result is a perfectly cooked chicken, a cooler or fridge full of beer, and a huge smile the whole time. Go ahead, choose to believe in Beer Can Chicken and see what happens to you.
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You start with a small bird – in the three to four pound range. Remove all the giblets and make sure it is fully thawed. You want to work in pan or bowl with high sides to keep the mess to a minimum and VERY thoroughly apply your dry rub. Over the counter rubs from the store work well, or make your own mix with a lot of salt and pepper, a lot less brown sugar, and even less onion powder, some paprika, and a little dried pepper like chipotle or cayenne to taste. You want to use a lot of rub! And once you touch the bird, you don’t want to go back to touching a shaker, so if you aren’t making your own get the store bought rub ready in a little bowl with about as much as you think is needed. I use about 1 cup – don’t prep too much because we throw away any that isn’t used after touching that bird! Rub it in really well, and move around wings and legs to get in all the nooks and crannies. I pull back a little skin as well and push some in there. Then I coat the inside as well. Keep adding more as you go until it’s all very well covered, then take the open 2/3 full beer can in your messy hand. Hold it down on the bottom of the pan, and lower the bird on with the other hand. Then use both to wiggle it all the way down there. Finally, tuck back the wings over the top so they don’t dangle down and burn. So here we are, sliding a can of your “secret recipe” beer into your first bird. If anyone is watching talk about the ABV for that beer, or the fact that it uses only Bavarian hops, or mention that its small-batch produced by blind monks who ride sea turtles. Anything to explain to guests why your beer can recipe is superior. The grilling scientist in me feels compelled to point out that we just made the chicken sit upright with the dark meat like legs and thighs closest to the flame and the delicate, and quickly cooking breast and wings high up in the cooler circulation range. We have a stable tripod using the can and the bottoms of the legs. This is the perfect position for roasting a chicken, allowing the parts that take longest to cook more heat and allowing you to finish the whole bird at the same time. Take that beer can deniers! But mostly it’s the monks on sea turtles, and the specific gravity vs IBU rating and the really pretty design on the cans. Did you notice they changed the logo on the can last summer? I could sure taste the difference. Don’t stop believing! You are about to make magic. Use heavy tongs on the sides and a spatula under the can to lift the chicken onto the grill. Then close the lid and drink the same beer your chicken is drinking. Or Dr. Pepper. Or canned wine. As long as you believe and wait 60-80 minutes. We will be using indirect heat, so on gas get one side up to medium-high and one off or on the coolest setting. On charcoal, get a good fire going and move the coals to the sides and cook in the middle. We want to be at about 350 near the grill grates. Don’t just rely on the thermometer on the lid because that will be a much cooler reading than the area just over the flame. It’s a good idea to use a drip pan below the grates in the middle to catch juices and stop flare-ups.
I fill mine with beer. Because I choose to. Because I believe. The lid gets closed and we get patient. We don’t peek, we don’t adjust, and we don’t turn. We just chill. And at 15 minutes I check the coals and rotate the bird. I’ll do that again at 30 and 45 minutes as well so that all sides face the heat during the cook. At 60 minutes check the temperature. I don’t trust the “juices run clear” for chicken so I use a digital thermometer in the thigh – deep and close to the bone. It’s ready at 165, but let it rest for 10 minutes off the grill before you start to carve it up. So for novice grillers – those who started on this quest with me back in January and have been slowly upping their grill game – take a bow and a victory lap. Smile and nod as the neighbor says they need to try this brand of beer for chicken because they can taste the flavor. Post a photo to social-shame friends who only wish they could grill like you. You just made magic with a beer can. I’m proud of you. I believe in beer butt chicken and I believe in you. We have only one article left in the series, and you can now face anything. In November you graduate so get ready.
Strawberry Crumb Muffins
Kitchen: Emory Ann Kurysh A three-part recipe that is a little more time consuming than your average muffin, it is the perfect addition to any late summer (or fall) outing or get-together. They are moist and sweet (but not overly), and can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. That’s a win in my book!
½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp cinnamon 4 tbsp butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp salt 6 tbsp butter, room temperature 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup milk 2 cups strawberries, chopped
(depending on how thick you would like it- this is quite thin) 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar 1 tbsp butter 2 tbsp milk ¾ tsp vanilla extract
1. For the topping- combine all four ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Mix until consistency is very breakable. Set aside. 2. For the muffins- preheat oven to 400°F. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl. Mix well. 3. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Then gently fold in the dry flour ingredients. Finally, add the strawberries and stir until just combined. 4. Divide the batter among 12 (or 18) well-greased muffin cups. Then top each one with the crumb topping. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until evenly cooked through. Let cool before transferring to a rack. 5. For the icing- combine all ingredients and mix until the icing is as thick as you would like it. (The runnier the glaze, the easier it is to drizzle!) Then spread over each cooled muffin. The muffins should be eaten soon after baking. Store them in a fridge in an airtight container up to 5 days. Can be frozen and thawed and eaten as well!
Sept/Oct 2019 27
Mixed Nut Bars Kitchen: Gayle Anderson 1 ½ cups flour ¾ cup packed brown sugar ¼ teas salt ½ cup butter, plus 2 Tbl 11 ½ can of mixed nuts or about 2 cups 1 cup butterscotch chips ½ cup light corn syrup Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor combine flour, sugar, salt. Pulse about 30 seconds till mixed, then add ½ cup of cubed butter and pulse till mixture resembles course crumbs. Press into a greased 13x9 baking pan and bake 10 minutes. Then sprinkle the crust with the nuts. Melt butterscotch chips, remaining butter (2Tbl) and the corn syrup in a small pan. Pour over the nuts as evenly as possible. Bake for 10 min. Home&Harvest
Sept/Oct 2019 28
Vegetarian Refried Bean & Rice Burritos on Homemade Tortillas by
Emory Ann Kurysh
Ingredients: For the tortilla (Makes 6) 2 cups all-purpose flour Â˝ tsp salt Âž cup water 3 tbsp canola oil (and more for cooking) For the burritos 6 tortillas 1 cup long grain rice, cooked 2 cups refried beans, warmed 1 cup corn, cooked 1 cup tomatoes, diced 1 cup cucumber, chopped Â˝ cup onion, sliced 1 cup cheese (any), grated Steps: 1. For the tortilla- combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Mix in water and oil. 2. Place dough on floured surface. Knead into ball. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes. 3. Separate dough into 6. Using a floured rolling pin, roll into thin and smooth circles. 4. Heat pan to medium. Add oil and then one tortilla at a time. Cook until brown (approximately 2 minutes on either side). Remove from pan and place on plate. Set aside. 5. For the burritos- cook rice, beans, and corn. Cut up remaining vegetables and grate cheese. Heat clean skillet or press to medium. Fill each tortilla evenly with each ingredient. 6. Take one side of the tortilla and fold it over to the middle. Holding that side down, grab the left and right side and fold those in as well. Then roll it closed and place it face down on the skillet or press. Cook until browned and sealed close. Serve warm. Add salsa, sour cream, or any other condiment if so desired!
Classic Rhubarb Pie
prepared by: Emory Ann Kurysh This recipe is unique in that the pie crust does not require shortening, and rather than using either butter or coconut oil in its place, I chose to add both. (If you prefer to use one or the other, simply combine the measurements into one.) As such, this recipe is one that every rookie chef should be able to make with the ingredients that they have! The pie filling once again recipe came from my grandmother’s Watkins Hearthside Cook Book, circa 1952. I copied it down almost verbatim. Ingredients: For the pie crust (Makes one open face pie. For lattice or other, please double recipe.) 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour ½ tsp salt ¼ cup coconut oil ⅛ cup butter, cold 10 tbsp cold water (approximately)
Steps: For the crust- combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the coconut oil and butter. Mix well. Then add water one tablespoon at a time. The dough should mostly form a ball, with some flakier chunks that don’t quick stick. (Crumbly over sticky preferred.) Transfer dough to floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to just cover a 9” pie pan. Trim edges and place in fridge until ready to use. For the filling- wash and drain fruit, then slice. Combine flour, sugar, and salt and toss with fruit. Fill pie pan with mixture and dot with butter. Bake in a 450°F oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and continue to bake for 40 to 45 minutes longer, or until the fruit is tender. Remove from oven once crust is golden brown, and let cool down before eating.
For the filling: ½ cup flour 1 ¼ cup sugar dash of salt 4 cups rhubarb, cut in 1-inch pieces 2 tbsp butter or margarine
Sept/Oct 2019 33
Cozy SWEATER PUMPKINS for Autumn
You can do it easily too by scrounging up some supplies from around your house. Mine cost nothing as I cannibalized past craft projects. And, it turns out one sweater will yield 5-7 assorted size pumpkins, perfect for snuggling up in a basket next to the fireplace or across the mantle. You will need: one old sweater you don’t mind cutting up Yarn or embroidery floss in matching color Jute or twine Darning needle (the bigger the eye, the better) Scissors Stuffing (I gutted an old pillow but you can also use old plastic grocery bags) Hot glue gun Twigs or cinnamon sticks for a stem. You can even use an old, dried vine Fabric or felt leaves, these I scavenged from old fall garlands
Carve up your sweater. Each sleeve can produce 2 small pumpkins. A cut straight across the body can make one large one, or you can divide it front and back to make 2 medium pumpkins by sewing or gluing each rectangle into a tube. Using the darning needle and a long piece of yarn, cast a running stitch around the bottom hem and pull tight to close it up. You will now have a sweater sack! Stuff it tightly, you are going to be squishing it down and you want it to be plump. Then close up the top the same way. I’ve tried both embroidery floss and jute for the fluting and prefer the jute. I like the rustic farmhouse look it gives. Thread a long piece (36”) in your needle and start at the top center, push directly through the pumpkin and come out the center of the bottom. Squish the pumpkin and bring the string back around the pumpkin to the top, tying a knot tightly. Repeat this step, spacing them around the pumpkin as best as possible. Decide on your stem, and hot glue it on, pushing it deep in the top. It will pop back to some extent. Glue on your leaves and you are done! The result is a pumpkin patch full of cozy décor to help your home feel ready for fall.
Last winter I washed my favorite sweater and mistakenly ran it through the dryer. What came out would have fit a 3 year old, and I was so disgusted with myself I stuffed it in the back of the closet. Fast forward to this year and a trip to my favorite gift shop in Rockford where I found dozens of cute, cozy sweater pumpkins.Once I got home I rummaged through the closet to find that shrunken sweater and began a process of constructing my own sweater pumpkins for fall décor (totally my favorite season!)
There is one type of call that I consider to be the most “fun” type of call. That would be a field fire. These are normally in stubble or grain caused by a harvest mishap or malfunctioning machinery. Or, a controlled burn that no longer is in control. High winds drove it in the wrong direction, or even just an uncooperative event from Mother Nature. Honestly, it’s kind of like playing chase while driving off road. Now, I’ll give my normal disclaimer that while I call this “fun”, I never want to see any damage to the fields, property, etc. The other firefighters and I will always operate with the utmost respect to the property and work as quickly as possible to stop the fire and protect other grounds, property, and people (animals too!). So this call actually happened the week of Thanksgiving last year. I was off work for the holiday and just helped get my kiddos to their afternoon nap. The call went out and buzzed up the road to the station. I was quite shocked that in late November, we were about to roll out for a grass fire. You wouldn’t think that there would be dry enough ground for something to spread. Most of the stubble ground had already been turned under or seeded. As it would turn out, this fire was in standing grass. A controlled burn got pushed away from its pile by unusual high winds and spread to the grass. Captain Walker and I headed out in Brush Truck 34. I had the privilege of driving and we raced out the gravel roads towards the base of Moscow Mountain. Division Chief Carscallen was on scene and reported the fire moving fairly slow to the east. We had another brush truck en-route and we were just coming up on the fire. As we approached, the order was given to run through the field to the farthest point east and try to hit the head of the fire and work the line back to the road. I crept the wheels just off the pavement and gained another member to ride out on top. I reached down pulling the truck into four wheel drive and engaged the pump. We were off. It was actually quite a trek from the road out to where we could cross a small ditch to jump into the fire area. We took the quickest route we could and I radioed the others to let them know the best way in. As we reached the head of the fire, we were able to quickly stop it from spreading east and started the run back towards the road. We were now discovering two major obstacles for us. First, the wind was blowing the smoke right in our faces and it was very difficult to see. Second, part of what was burning were small trees that had plastic, protective, sleeves around the bases. As the fire burned past the small trees, the plastic sleeves continued to burn causing literally dozens of small spot fires to go after once we got the major fire under control. We quickly pumped through our water supply and headed back to meet the water tender for a fresh fill up.
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W E L OV E O U R
I turned on our front nozzle along with the bumper spray nozzles to push through the fire line so we could start our attack again. After breaking through, I kicked off the front nozzles to save the water and let our guy on top work the fire line with the hand line. The hand lines are more accurate and easier to hit the fire with. The guy on top can usually see the fire better, too. This also gives the driver the ability to concentrate on just driving the truck as that task is usually difficult on its own. For this go round, we made good progress on the most southern flank of the fire. The other brush trucks were working the west and the north flanks and were doing well too. And of course, all at once, we were running out of water at the same time. A quick trip back to the road and we took turns getting filled back up.
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As we head back out, we were all assigned different flanks to finish up the final knock down of the fire. We took the west flank and headed north. Once we got to the most northern corner, we turned to work the north flank driving east. If you’re lost or confused at this point, don’t worry. It’s easy to do. In fact, when listening to the radio traffic you’ll commonly hear something like “Brush Truck 34 from Command, please go to your other east”. Now we were all operating in a mop-up mode. One truck will continue to work the perimeter, ensuring a completely extinguished fire line. The others will drive through the burned area hitting all the hot spots. Depending on the fire and time of year, this can either go fairly quickly, or take quite a while. This call, it went fairly quickly. We were working the hot spots. In our travels, we picked up Captain Walker who single handedly took on all those small spot fires from the plastic sleeves and saved us a bunch of time. A couple more checks and we were all clear. Overall, the whole event probably took around two hours. All in all, we had three brush trucks, two water tenders, a pumper (for structure protection), two command officers, and a department of lands truck for the event. The downside to a call like this is that you always get really dirty. We make sure everything is washed up, hoses put back on, tanks filled back up (water and fuel), and all things in place for the next call. This takes time too, but we all work together to make it go fast. Now we could all go enjoy our holiday plans. And if my memory serves right, just the very next week we had snow on the ground.
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phantom mega tahr by
Ending our amazing New Zealand trip was my last creature to find: a Himalayan bull tahr. This animal is referred to as the goat antelope. Or Hemitragus. The bulls appear to be wearing another animalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coat. Both sexes have horns and were introduced to New Zealand in 1904. Being thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no natural predators in New Zealand, the tahr exploded in population. The New Zealand government has tried to control these numbers by shooting them by helicopter and poisoning them, creating quite a controversy between the hunters and the government.
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Now, my father had taken his tahr a few days prior to my hunt. When he spotted and stalked his 13 inch bull, there were multiple other real nice bulls running with him. Aaron, our guide thought there was a nice 14-inch bull in the mix. So we all decided instead of going up in the helicopter to hunt the ridges for tahr to stay low and see if we could find the bull, John, my boyfriend, deemed the “Mega Tahr”. Braden (one of the other guides), John and I decided to go out in the evening after a rainy day to look for this animal. We drove out amongst the hills and parked next to one that was mighty steep. We grabbed our gear and headed straight up. Out of breath, we sat down to overlook the land with binoculars and spotting scope. Seeing one lone tahr on another tall hill, Braden said that tahr in parituclar was a small bull. One day I hope to get better at field judging horns and antlers. John turned around and took a few steps to relieve himself and said, “Everyone. Quietly turn around and look up.” So Braden and I turned ever so slowly and gazed upon the crest of the hill behind us. There stood just the top of the head and horns of Mega Tahr but- there was absolutely no shot whatsoever. He looked at us and looked away several times and we knew he was going to bolt. He disappeared over the ridge and we scrambled to get to the top before he hid on another ridge. When we breathlessly reached the top, a fog bank blanketed the whole area, completely smudging out anything farther than fifteen yards. He was gone. Like he was a figment of our imagination. Braden pointed down to where he was previously bedded. John joked about finding Mega Tahr’s lair. Dark was setting in and we had to leave. I was both bummed but energized for the next day which also happened to be the last day of our hunt. On our way down in the dark, Braden turned to John and says, “I think Dawn needs to shoot something.” Well I couldn’t disagree with that! He handed me a suppressed .22 and flipped a switch in his truck and holy mother of God. The whole hillside lit up! An LED lightbar as well at two hella spotlights and a hand held light lit up everywhere! He says, “Here in New Zealand we can spotlight! Let’s go shoot some rabbits and possums!” As we quickly drove down the mountain, rabbits ran everywhere, and Braden was quick to pull around and let me get shots. I would trade off with John. Being left handed, I was happy the rig was set up like Europe’s cars so I was on the left side for quick shots. After a little while, we saw the first possum, and I jumped out and quickly dispatched it. Another one was right behind it and John grabbed the rifle and ended him. I tell you, this was just like video games! And since there’s no predators here, if the varmints aren’t controlled, there would be no food for bigger game. In fact ranches have gone bankrupt from over populated rabbits! We kept driving and taking out rabbits and possums, until I was trying to finish one particular possum and he came running straight for me! Tried to climb up me! I laughed so hard and so did my hunting partners. We finally arrived back at the cabin where everyone thought we died, being it took us so long. I could have stayed out all night, that was so much fun. Morning came quick and we headed out at first light. Our plan: Aaron and Chuck (another hunter on this trip) would go up one side of the ravine and us on the other and send big rocks down to see if we could flush out Mega Tahr. As we sent countless boulders over the edge, nothing stirred at all. No critters were down there. Radioing Aaron and Chuck, change of plan. They decided to walk up through the other heavy brushed ravine in hopes to push anything up and over to us awaiting on another hilltop. So as they travelled all the way down the the end of the tree line, we scrambled to a close hill and got into position to be able to make a long shot.
After what seemed like eternity, the static of the radio broke the silence and Aaron and Chuck flushed out several tahr, said they were headed to the top of the trees. Braden ranged out that far but it was close to a thousand yards, too far to ethically shoot a creature in all of our opinions, so he had hoped that they run towards us if they came out. But Braden threw a possible scenario out that Mega Tahr could very easily come out and circle back, heading right back into the deep tree line. I prayed that he would not do it, but that tahr didn’t grow huge for being stupid. Just then a tahr shot up out of the trees! Braden said he’s a nice one but not Mega Tahr. He was heading our way but just slowly. Out shoots another tahr! And it’s him! MEGA TAHR. And he circles right back into the trees! Ahhhhhhh!!!! No! Braden sits back and asks me what we wanna do now. Being the last day, all I got is the afternoon and we needed to skin whatever tahr I got. Pack and get ready. So I agreed on taking this tahr heading in our direction. Braden and John agreed this one was 13 inches and was a nice one. Ranging him at a little over two hundred yards, I set up for the shot. Squeezing the trigger, the tahr stumbled back and forth for a second and was done. Braden got all of it on camera and we watched the point of impact several times. I was more than happy being it’s not my weapon, and the longest shot I’ve ever taken on a creature. Walking up to this beast was beautiful. Perfect shot. White tipped horns. Gorgeous mane. We took a ton of pictures and packed him up. While very pleased with my trophy, I was a little both sad but amazed the Mega Tahr outsmarted our cunning plan. He lives to see another day. A wise old phantom who outsmarted five hunters, with long range capabilities. You just must have respect for something that smart. However I was not disappointed to say the least with my tahr. 12 and 7/8 he measured! Just a little smaller than my father’s. I must tell you that I am excited to go back to maybe the north island and hunt some chamois or sika stag. Perhaps some feral goats or wallabys. One things for sure, I will never forget anything about all of these hunts. It’s made me work harder in hopes for other amazing adventures!
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by Joe Evans
Recently, I’ve spent a fair amount of time running my chronograph. The results for me have been an eye opener and have resulted in making changes in my ammunition. You must keep in mind that these results are strictly mine and you may have differing results. At the very least, I hope you use these results to stimulate your mind and run your own tests and checks on your loads. First up is the big 300 Winchester. My Suko A7 will shoot sub ½ MOA with its favorite load. This load is Hornady cases, 70 grains, IMR 4350, 178 grain ELD-X bullets fired by CCI 250 magnum primers. The velocity in my new rifle was about 2950 fps. Great load! Well, the Sako is a quality arm but the barrel was extremely rough. I lapped the barrel with JB Bore Cleaning Paste and now, I find I have the same accuracy. I don’t have to clean it as often, but I still enjoy it! Be careful doing this or you might be in the market for a new barrel. Well, I found a godly quantity of H4350 in Montana, which I purchased. I loaded some 300s with both 4350s and all other components of the same lot as before. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the barrel lapping gave me around 50 fps more with IMR 4350, same charge (70 grains). H4350 gave an additional 50 fps at about the same pressure level. Accuracy with both 4350s is still outstanding. Sometimes you get lucky! Although, both 4350s are supposed to have the same burning rate, it is my impression that H4350 is very slightly farther burning, at least in my application. Possibly 1 to 2 grain less could be used to achieve the same velocity as IMR 4350. Be careful with this, as your results might be the exact opposite of mine. As a final note, I ran some new factory 180 Power Points and they ran at 2960 fps, exactly as rated. When the 300 was introduced in 1963, the 180 Power Point was rated at 3070 in a 26 inch barrel. My final load of 70 grains H4350 zoomed over the screens in my 24 inch barrel at 3066 fps. And at safe pressures! Now for the 22 long rifle in my GSG 1911, the 22 Kraut. I purchased the 22 Kraut as an understudy (cheap ammo) to my Sig 45 cal. 1911. This, it does very well. I like to start and finish range sessions with the 22 and I feel that my pistol shooting has improved 100 percent and I am having good results by combatting my persistent flinching. What? A big, strong 180-pound guy like me flinches? Well, yes, I can flinch with the best of them. In fact, if you think you flinch worse than me, I will challenge you to a contest. You will lose every time! Enough of that, haha!
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The 22 Kraut likes full power ammo and is very accurate with Remington Golden 22 and Thunderbolts. This is cheap ammo. I purchased some Federal Champions on sale and my gat did not like these at all. It shot high, didn’t group well, failure to feed and extract… just a general pain. For grins and giggles, I ran the chronograph and found this batch of Federal were about 40 fps slower than the Remingtons. I do not mean to badmouth the Federal 22s as batches of shells can vary all over the place. Next batch might be great. Actually, lest you think I’m picking on Federal, Remingtons a few years back were far worse, it pays to try them all. 20 gauge. Due to a falling in New Zealand and necessitated surgery on my left rotator cup, I cannot lift my normal trap guns. So, I’m using a youth model Mossberg 500 slide gun with a 22’ barrel. I fitted it with an adult length stock acquired at a gun show. Fast and deadly on grouse, it is a beast to swing smoothly on the trap range. My load consisted of an AA case, 14 grains International, CB 10 78 was 7/8 ounces 8’s, lit by a WW 209 primer, and it worked pretty good but I would have an occasionally mystery miss. Back to the chronograph. This was a real eye opener. Velocity was around 1200 fps but the extreme spread was at least 150 fps! I remembered how well the factory AA trap load did in several 20 gauges and noted that the factory uses WSF powder. I purchased some as well as some 8.5 shot. The recommended charge of 16.5 grains WSF with all other components the same went 1200 fps with an extreme spread of 8 fps. Some WW Universal shells loaded the same clocked the same 1200 fps with an extreme spread of 6 fps. Time to try it on the range! By the way, I laboriously bored out a Mec bushing to throw this 16.5 grains. Load does very well and even maneuvered a couple of 25 straights! Breaks with this load and 8.5 shot were great with my modified choke. I did one round at 21 yards and did a 22. Short barrel is still hard to shoot well, but it will have to do until I can get my body repaired. The universal shell was a very pleasant surprise as it is an economy grade job. The ballistics with this load are the same as the AA case and I have re-loaded the Universal up to 10 times. The Universal has very slightly greater capacity than the AA and is more difficult to crimp. Base wad is very tough. The 12 gauge Universal is completely different and should not be reloaded. You will stick a base wad in your barrel. Over the years I have seen a lot of new young shooters using the 20 gauge with cheap shells topped with 7.5 shot. Scores normally run between 10 to 15 hits per 25. It is my wish that these kids could be furnished with quality shells loaded with no. 8.5 shot. Junior just might give the parents a real surprise with how good they can shoot on the range! The next tine I’ll give you a little rundown on the great Red Stag!
slayer of words:
A few weeks ago in a Moscow laundromat, a middle-aged woman approached me while I was getting my clothes out of the dryer. Her: “Are you in any pain?” Me, baffled, already knowing where this is going: “No, not right now. Why do you ask?” Her: ”Can I pray for you? I know some healers...” Me: “Umm … sure.” And then, in the middle of a busy laundromat, she put her arm on me and prayed to Jesus or God or whomever that I be free of pain and healed. Because Cerebral Palsy or disability can be prayed away and healed... except it can’t. First of all, I’m astounded by her faith and sometimes wish mine was that strong, but I don’t know what I believe except that there must be something bigger than us out there. Faith or (non) belief in any sort of higher power, at least for me, is a very personal thing that should not be pushed on any other person. I let her pray over me because maybe it was something she needed to do for herself more than for me, whether or not either of us realized it. It was awkward but it didn’t hurt me. Secondly, I’ve spent so long hating and wishing away my disability and everything that comes with it knowing fully well that I cannot be healed or able bodied in this lifetime. So when someone comes up and all but says that healing is possible and can happen if I just believe hard enough or pray more, it cuts like a knife. If (your) God made me in his image, am I not perfectly made? Why am I seen as broken or in need of fixing? And we’ll all float on. I’ve had a disability my entire life. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, which is defined as “a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and/or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth” that affects an estimated 17 million people worldwide. Symptoms vary among people with CP, but for me it manifests as the inability to walk, less use of my left hand, blindness in my right eye, terrible balance and general muscle weakness and muscle spasms, especially in my legs.
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My parents never let my Cerebral Palsy or the struggles it has sometimes brought define or consume me. They taught both me and my brother to do as much as possible for ourselves and to never be concerned with what others thought of us. My brother is much better at not caring what others think, but both of us are probably too stubborn, prideful, and just a touch salty (in the best way). My parents also did an incredible job of fostering in us a sense of independence. It is solely because of their belief in me, and despite my own naiveté, that I have come as far as I have in my life thus far. You see, I haven’t always made it easy. Remember when I said I was stubborn? Yeah, I also whine and pout and have enough anxiety and fear in me for many lifetimes. And when things get hard or I get scared I sort of just shut down and stop trying. I’ve never claimed to be perfect or easy or anything other than a flawed human, a work in progress at best. But because of the solid groundwork laid for me, I am independent in ways some people don’t think possible. For example, I’ve lived on my own since leaving the University of Idaho dorms, which were a disaster in their own right because of my own inability to meet the expectations of others. And I don’t require the assistance of a personal caretaker. I also use a manual wheelchair on my own, although I am not against others helping if they want to. From the outside, I live a pretty normal life-hell, even a good one. And it truly is a good one, but it’s not without struggles. Like everyone else, I have to contend with relationships, health, work, school and other parts of life, in addition to things that only those with disabilities have to contend with. These are things like access and accessibility, mobility devices, ableism and internalized ableism that severely impact a person’s quality of life, mental and physical health and independence.
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My greatest fear isn’t death or losing a loved one but rather losing my independence. Change is terrifying and I feel like I’m approaching a point in my life where I’m going to have to make some big, scary changes soon. Thus far in life, I’ve managed to survive on my own and, when needed, with the help of family and friends. But it has increasingly been suggested that I get a caretaker and motorized wheelchair to help maintain my independence. Except those things feel like me losing everything I’ve worked so hard to gain. My parents chose to have me use a manual wheelchair so that I wouldn’t need to rely on others to help me get where I needed to go. Similarly, I was taught the basics of cooking, cleaning, and other adult responsibilities so that I could do those things independently; so I can live independently.
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But what happens when it gets harder to push myself? What happens when it gets harder to do certain chores and keep a house that lives up to my mother’s and my own standards?
It’s not much different from Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief when contending with a terminal illness or death. Except instead of grieving a death or terminal illness, I’m grieving my complete independence and the idea that I can do everything on my own. I have to learn to accept and embrace my disability and the struggles and potential loss of independence that may come with it. As a child, I was naive toward my disability. I mean, I knew I was different and that I couldn’t walk without the use of a mobility aid or at all, use my left hand well, or see out of my right eye. But as a kid, those things didn’t really matter. I lived such a typical, normal childhood, with the exception of a few more surgeries and hospital visits than the average child, and was surrounded by so much love and support that I was too occupied being a kid to let my differences get in the way too much. Unfortunately, puberty and adolescence are good at bringing death to naiveté. As I got older and wasn’t included in or physically couldn’t participate in so many normal adolescent activities because of my disability, I realized for the first time that my life did have limitations and wasn’t going down the trajectory I so desperately wanted it to follow. See, in my head, my life path went something like this. I would graduate high school with good grades, a boyfriend and a car. I would go to college somewhere far away where I’d continue getting good grades, make tons of friends, and have the most incredible experiences before graduating somewhere in the top of my class and moving on to get a great job as a journalist that allowed me to travel. Somewhere along the line, I’d meet my soulmate and we’d live a white picket fence life in our dream house with our three kids and two cats. Obviously, none of this has happened. I did graduate high school and college (barely) but that’s where the similarities between my fantasy world and reality ended. What I didn’t realize until after my life had significantly veered off course was that in my fantasy world, I didn’t have a disability or if I did it didn’t affect my life in any incredible way. This is denial. And sometimes I find myself still living there. It’s comfortable and warm and doesn’t hurt me.
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Where there is denial, anger will follow. Anger and I have an interesting relationship. I feel like I don’t experience anger like the majority of people. It’s a very rare thing for me to feel anger and when I do it’s usually towards myself and whatever way my body or (in recent years) my mind have failed me. If I fail to get in my wheelchair the first or second time because my brakes are worn out and need replaced again or I can’t get past a terrible crack in the sidewalk or up a hill because I’m just not strong enough or I’m moving too slow (always) or myriad other reasons, the disappointment in myself and my abilities rises. I’m not sure when or why this coping mechanism came to be, but I’ve made a habit of burying my anger and sadness and pain deep down inside of me so that on the rare occasion it bubbles to the surface, I reach full-on hysterical meltdown over whatever tiny thing pushed me over the edge. Bargaining is the third stage of grief, and it involves much negotiation. For me, bargaining occurs most often when someone says or does something to remind me that so often I and others with disabilities are seen as only inspiration porn or needing fixed or lesser than in some way. We’re expected to overcome our disabilities and persevere in a world not suited for us. Oftentimes, we’re raised up on a pedestal like a martyr. So when we’re seen simply being human, whether we’re having a drink with friends at our favorite restaurant or bar or traversing from one place to another by ourselves or even doing laundry, people stare or worse (like the woman at the laundromat). I am one of the more than 300 million worldwide living with depression. Depression can be the result of many things including a chemical imbalance, trauma, genetics, certain medical conditions or illnesses, death or loss of a loved one, substance abuse and an endless plethora of other human experiences and conditions. For me, it’s the result of a chemical imbalance, trauma, genetics and my disability, for lack of a better way to put it. Unlike my naive younger years, I know that having a disability means my life will seldom go according to plan. I know this because things stopped going the way I wanted them to a long time ago. On and off since I came to Moscow for school 10 years ago, everyone from complete strangers to classmates to friends and professors and administrators have-
-at one point asked or told me that I need something, varying from a motorized wheelchair to a caretaker to not living independently or to not be here at all, either outright-or in not so many words directly to my face or behind my back. I want to believe these things are said out of concern or because they want to see me “better,” but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t mean part of me doesn’t wonder if it’s all out of pity. If I could wish away my disability, I would have done so years ago. If I could make things easier for me, but especially for those around me wherein it concerns me, again I would have done so forever ago. This is the part where everyone I know and don’t know screams in unison “but it can be easier if only you’d....” The two biggest questions or complaints I hear, depending on who they’re coming from, are: “Why don’t you have a motorized wheelchair?” “Where’s your caretaker?” or “Why don’t you have a caretaker?” First of all, I hate that I repeatedly get asked these questions because it’s nobody’s business except mine. Yes, I might be stubborn or ungrateful or just prolonging a miserable existence, but mostly I’m scared. I’m scared and fearful because while everyone says getting a motorized wheelchair or caretaker to help will only increase my independence, to me, it feels like losing my independence. I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings by so adamantly refusing these things. I just want to be 200 pounds skinnier and have better mobility and energy without having to exchange everything I’ve ever known. But since it’s not likely I’m going to ever meet those expectations, I’m trying to find a place where everyone can be happy. Because even though I shouldn’t have to answer to anyone, it’s hard not to in this town. Can someone please just tell me that if I do what everyone else wants and get a caretaker and motorized wheelchair that I’ll still be able to do what I please whenever I want and with or without whomever I want? Because right now, I feel powerless and scared and like a child being told by all of the adults in her life that they know best and her feelings don’t matter. The final stage of grief is acceptance, but I’m not there yet. I’m not sure I ever will be. I’m scared of what the rest of my life looks like, friends. Please tell me I’m not a failure and that it’ll be okay. Editor’s Note: I have published this piece as-is. Ashley was unsure about the ending, and at first I wanted her to write something courageous as well. But what is courageous? It’s telling the truth. It’s being brave enough to tell your story, as Ashley has done, in hopes that it will help someone. She knows she’ll be ok. She knows the truth is she’s not a failure, but her inner critic along with her aforementioned grief likes to steal her power from time to time. But haven’t we all been there and felt that way? Ashley, you are not a failure and it WILL be okay. Why? Because people like you are brave enough to share their stories… stories that will ultimately change the world for the better. Thank you for being the change we wish to see in the world.
Harvest by Temple Kinyon
I squirm around in the black leather seat, searching for just the right position where my back and hips don’t ache. My workday started at 7:00 am, and my forty-something body isn’t used to sitting in a grain truck seat, racing back and forth all day between field and grain elevator. The digital clock on the dashboard reads 6:54 pm, but it’s the dead of summer in Idaho, and the heat continues to hang in the air. A small trickle of sweat meanders its way down my neck, and I lean back to stop it, my shirt absorbing it and making a tiny wet spot on my collar. Ick. I rub from side to side in the seat, trying to itch away the irritating prickle on my back created by a light layer of wheat dust that always finds it’s way onto my skin, even under my shirt and in my socks. I look down distastefully at my thick, cotton socks and bulky tennis shoes and realize my toes are sweaty-soggy inside them. I hate wearing tennis shoes and socks in the heat of summer, but Dad frowns upon flip-flops. This is his office, and a dress code is strongly suggested for safety— damn comfort, coolness, and fashion. He’s right, though. I remember every time I scooted out across a stubble field as a kid wearing shorts and flip-flops, my shins and feet received the brunt of the freshly cut stalks of wheat or barley, their sharp edges digging in and leaving thin bloody streaks trickling on my sun-kissed skin. As an adult, I know better than to tempt fate. Yes, I’ve become practical. Finally, a soft breeze with a slight coolness to it wafts through the open windows of my truck, and I breathe it in. The thick smell of the season brings thousands of memories from past harvests flickering through my brain. The smell of fresh-cut grain is distinct. There’s a touch of dust, a dash of chaff, and a pinch of dried grass. It’s a unique mixture, and one I’ve never smelled anywhere else but in the grain fields. Small pockets of fresher air sneak in my truck cab occasionally, and I breathe deep again, knowing it’s full of nothing but natural pollutants. Harvest is a tactile experience, tickling and teasing all of your senses, luring them to come out and play. It never disappoints, the sights, smells, sounds—even the taste. As kids, my sister, brother, and I would spend an inordinate amount of time furiously chewing wheat kernels to see which one of us could make a starchy gum. If you set your mind to it, you do, in fact, end up with wheat gum, a gritty, nearly tasteless mass of goo. Home&Harvest
Sept/Oct 2019 59
I smile at the memory and look to see my brother cutting on the distant hillside, slowly and methodically making his way through the tall stands of wheat. The combine leaves behind wide ribbons of alternating light and dark, reflecting the back and forth of his chosen pattern for this particular field. He slowly disappears behind the swell of the hill. I feel alone with him out of sight. We’re miles away from the main road, the nearest house at least three hills to the east. Suddenly, I realize it’s so quiet it’s noticeable. But then, the buzz of a fat bumblebee bouncing around low to the ground begins to fill the air. Pieces of stubble make subtle pops and cracks, finally drying completely now that the head bursting with wheat berries is gone, sliced off clean by the big red combine’s razor-sharp sickles. To some, the abundant seas of wheat fields may appear dried, withered, dead. But those golden, brittle shafts boast seeds of nutrition. Seeds of life. A friend commented one time that she hated late summer/early fall on the Palouse because “everything looks dried up and dead.” Being the proud farmer’s daughter, I piped up and engaged her in a spirited conversation. “How can you see that enormous expanse of golden wheat as dead? Don’t you get this is where the phrase ‘amber waves of grain’ came from?” She immediately retreated from her comments, possibly because of my passionate tone, but maybe because she’d never actually seen the wheat fields in that way. I stretch, feeling tired, but a good kind of tired. It’s hardwork tired. It’s satisfying tired, being part of something important, something bigger than me, the wheat offering meals to families across the nation and world. There’s also a tinge of nostalgia mixed with that tired. I miss my childhood, riding in the truck with my mom, and watching my dad do precisely what my brother is doing right now. I close my eyes and drift back to my younger years, when summers lasted forever, and harvest was like an extended holiday, the air filled with excitement. The first thing that pops into my head is riding in the combine. It was like hitting the lottery, breaking up the bouts of riding and waiting in the truck with Mom. Dad would ease around the truck to dump his load of beautiful wheat or barley and ask if I wanted a ride. Of course, this was usually after my sister and brother had their rides—as the youngest I was typically last. But it didn’t matter. It was finally MY turn! Dad would hoist me up to the bottom rung on the metal ladder that loomed up to the cab. I had to be careful going up; one wrong move and a shin sliding down a step could cause quite a bloody gash, especially if I happened to be breaking dress-code and wearing shorts. After successfully climbing the ladder, I’d scramble into the small area in the combine cab between the seat where my dad sat and the huge window.
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It was cramped but offered the best view. However, that view came at a price. The mechanics housed under the metal plate I sat on created heat, and as Dad made his rounds, the metal got warmer and warmer. After a while, my butt would get so hot I’d be forced to start squirming. I hope Dad knew I was fussing around because my derriere was sizzling and not because I was bored. Toasty buns or not, I loved riding in the combine. The whir of the massive machine and the constant turning of the expansive reel mesmerized me. As we made our way around the dips and swells of the rolling hills, I’d see the pieces of land not visible from the road, the pieces tucked away and only accessible by farm equipment or trucks. I felt like we were out in the middle of nowhere. It was quite the adventure, conquering the land. But fear sometimes crept in when the combine’s leveler compensated for a steep patch. I worried we would start to slide, but we never did. Dad’s superpowers kept us safe. All too soon, the bulk tank would fill with rich kernels of grain, and we’d head back to the truck to dump. The ride was over, always making me a bit remiss, but thankful I could cool off my gluteus maximus. When the combine purged every last kernel, Dad would start cutting again, leaving my siblings and me with Mom for the next phase of the cycle, the trek to the grain elevator. With windows down and the summer-heated breeze blowing our hair every-which-way, we’d journey to the enormous, steel structure to deposit our goods. Riding in the truck with Mom was yet another adventure. I marveled at how she could split-shift and maneuver the big truck into the seemingly tiny garage-like opening at the elevator. Sometimes we’d have to wait in line behind other trucks. Mom always knew the drivers, some were other farm wives, some semi-retired Grandpas, some high school kids. It was a social circle of sorts, but you never dallied around when it was your turn to pull the truck into dump. The urgency to return to the field to get another load pressed hard, keeping the chit-chat and gossip to a minimum. When it was our turn, Mom would ease the truck into the bowels of the elevator and expertly settle the front tires on the scale. Sometimes she would give us the ok to get out of the truck. The three of us would scramble out—careful to avoid touching the scales—and watch as the elevator employee weighed the truck ever so carefully. He would then open the back hatch to release the mounds of grain into the hole below. There were pipes acting as a grate so he could walk around behind the truck, and if you looked between the pipes, it seemed like a dark abyss where the grain flowed down into oblivion, also ominously known as The Pit. Mom would get in the truck and hoist the bed up, letting gravity pull the load out over the pipes and down, down, down. The elevator employee would yell for her to stop and take a shovel to clean out the corners of the truck.
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Then Mom lowered the bed of the truck back to level. The elevator employee would sweep any rogue kernels into the hole and then weigh the empty truck. Mom would get out and wait for him to write down the empty weight. It was at that moment she’d give us “the look” (one of many in her arsenal of non-verbal cues) telling us to scamper back into the truck. Then came the return journey to the field. It always seemed like we flew back, probably because we were lighter after depositing our load. I suppose Mom went the same speed, but as a kid, it felt faster getting to the field from the elevator than to the elevator from the field. A loud stomach growl startles me out of my reverie back to the present. I find my hunger ironic as I’m nestled in the rolling hills covered with wheat, barley, peas, and lentils—the breadbasket of the world. But, because it’s getting late, and all I ate for lunch was a sandwich and some fruit, I’m anxious for my brother to come back around to dump. Once he deposits his load of grain, my truck will be full, signaling the end of my day. I’ll drive it back to Mom and Dad’s, nestle it carefully in the shed, and head in for dinner and bed. The loaded truck will be ready to dump first thing in the morning at the elevator, just like I did this morning and will continue to do daily until every last kernel is scooped out of the fields, and the crop is buttoned up for another year. Just like my Dad and Mom—and now brother—have done every summer, every year. Slowly, the familiar and comforting whir of the combine increases in volume as my brother maneuvers back into view. The shadows are long, and darkness begins to settle, first in the low draws, then inching up the hills until dusk covers the entire landscape. In a last fit of glory, the sky blazes a beautiful combination of periwinkle, purple, and navy tinged with pink and orange. My brother is journeying back to my truck. He’s full. The combine’s external lights flick on to illuminate his way, a true sign of his determination to finish this field regardless what time the clock says. A growing sliver of a harvest moon shows itself behind the combine, ready to rise and offer a light of its own. I almost get a lump in my throat watching my brother lumber the combine toward me. I wouldn’t trade growing up on the farm for anything. I bet my parents and siblings feel the same. I’m honored to help this particular summer as a truck driver, long since removed from my childhood days on the farm, but never far from the roots that made me who I am. This land and life are filled with lessons and riddled with adventure if you’re open to them. The continuous cycle of working the ground, planting the seeds, tending to weeds, and outsmarting pests culminates in this grand labor of love. This is my favorite time of year. This is harvest. Temple Kinyon grew up on a wheat farm in Potlatch, Idaho. Her parents, brother, and sister-in-law still farm the ground that has been in her family since 1906.
Join us for the 35th Annual
This year’s exciting events will take place the weekend before Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 22, 2019, 4:00PM Enjoy festive goodies as you stroll through the beautifully decorated trees. Buy mini trees and wreaths on this special day! Start your holiday shopping in the Holiday Gift Shop, too!
Memorial Tree of Lights Remembrance Ceremony Friday, November 22, 2019, 6:00PM
Memorial Tree of Lights is an opportunity for the community to purchase ornaments to remember loved ones and honor someone special around the holidays
Saturday, November 23, 2019, 6:00PM The Lewis-Clark Valley’s premiere holiday event, featuring a Live & Silent Auction, gourmet dinner by the Lewiston Elks Lodge, and dancing to the 7 Devils.
Tickets: $100 (advance purchase necessary, must be 21 years of age to attend)
All Events will be held at the Lewiston Elks Lodge! 3444 Country Club Drive, Lewiston, ID 83501
www.TriStateFestivalofTrees.org P: 509.758.4902 • F: 509.758.8768
Contributions to Tri-State Hospital Foundation, a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization, may be deductible for tax purposes.
MOSCOW CONVENIENT CARE CLINIC Tri-State Memorial Hospital & Medical Campus opened its second Convenient Care Clinic inside the Rosauers Supermarkets located in Moscow, ID. The clinic is open seven days a week for quick and convenient services. Hours of operation are Monday-Sunday, 9:00AM-6:00PM. The Moscow community now has a fast, affordable alternative to receiving healthcare if they cannot get in to see their primary care provider. The Tri-State Convenient Care Clinic provides same day services with no appointment necessary for non-life threatening injury and illness including sore throats, sinus infections, colds and flu, minor cuts and sprains, as well as offers vaccinations and sports physicals. Insurance is not billed at this location; cash payment is required at the time of service (may also pay with check or credit card). Health Savings Account payments are accepted. Those with a high deductible will only pay for the cost of the services provided.
Tri-State is excited for this partnership with Rosauers. It allows us to take care of the whole patient close to their home. – Don Wee, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-State Convenient Care Clinic – Moscow Thursday, September 5, 2019 | 1:00PM – 2:00PM 411 North Main Street, Moscow, ID 83843 Join us for a special event celebrating the grand opening of Tri-State Convenient Care Clinic located in Moscow, ID!