Friday, May 26, 2017

A Collage Of May

May has been such a busy month around here, we have had lots of doing, and not much time for the computer and sharing/blogging.  It is a good thing to have mostly sunshine, mixed with clouds, rain and wind at times, but overall, we are thankful to have seen more of the sun recently, and this has given us more of a chance to get outside and enjoy springtime.

I want to forewarn you though... this post is about several different events, four of them I've turned into a collage to shorten the post, and hopefully make it a bit easier to see why this May has been full of activity for us :)  Really, each of the collages could have served as a post of their own, but my time challenges won't permit me this luxury, so I will share them with you like this.


Our local grange (community center) closed its doors several years ago due to lack of membership, and the board has decided recently to put it up for sale.  One of the ladies who was heavily involved in the grange is a neighbor of ours, an active and beautiful 91 year old.  She remembered that there was a time capsule buried near the front entrance of the grange and that it needed to be opened before selling the grange.  The grange used to be a schoolhouse, and back in 1929, the schoolteacher there created a time capsule with her students and buried it. 

There was an approximate area it was buried, and so a backhoe began to slowly dig out the area. Lots of bottles, nails, and even an old stovetop was found, but no bottle!  My husband was down by the backhoe helping to look for anything that could be the time capsule.  Suddenly, he spotted something, reached down, and there it was!  My husband was the first one to touch this time capsule since 1929, quite an exciting thing for him!  He handed it immediately to Mrs. L and then the excitement arose on how best to open it.  It was filled with liquid, most likely water, because the cork had gone bad.  Soon enough, the bottle was opened and gentle hands pulled the paper from the bottle.  It was a recording by the teacher of all the student names there in beautiful handwriting.  Here is a closeup of it.

Some of the names were familiar to many of the community and neighbors who had gathered there, and some were not.  It was just an amazing experience to see that this piece of paper written back in 1929, put in a bottle whose cork had dried out, that was still able to be legible and readable! The paper will be preserved as part of the grange's history in this area.  It was a really neat experience for all of us. Some of the lilac bushes were dug up in the search for the bottle, and I took a couple of the bushes home to plant in my yard... a little piece of the history of that day will always  be with us :)


A storm had rolled in, and was in the clearing stages when my husband and I took a little drive down river.  Oh, it was magnificent!  The colors in the sky, try as I might, really didn't show up well on my camera.  Yet, you get to see just a bit of the beauty of that night as we enjoyed the glorious skies after the storm.


My family treated me in special ways for Mother's Day with flowers, chocolate, very sweet cards and gift cards, and a gorgeous blue birdbath for the front yard. We ate out at our favorite Mexican restaurant and enjoyed the day together, ending it out by the pit with a fire later that evening.  So blessed and thankful for my precious family!

~~~~ LOST IN THE 50'S ~~~~

A city nearby has a big celebration every year, "Lost in the 50s".  One of the big thrills of the weekend is the parade that kicks the event off.  I don't think I've EVER been in a parade that long!  It just kept coming and coming and coming!  The classic cars came 2 by 2, and even still, the parade took close to an hour!  Oh it was great to see all the old beauties all shined up, but I think my favorite picture out of the whole night was this one ...

The expressions on their faces just made my heart smile too :)


As we traveled down the road towards our camping spot, we spotted movement in the hills, and before long, this lone moose made her way across the road, and back down the hill.  She was not too concerned about our presence, and seemed quite content once she reached the other side of the embankment.  It was very exciting seeing the moose just a mile or so from where we were camping.  We kept our eyes and ears out while we camped, but saw no other large wildlife while we were there.

As we reached our destination, I couldn't help but just stand and look at the views around me.  You can't tell from this picture, but the river at this junction flows east and west, with snow-capped mountains backdropping both the east and west.  It was an impressive sight to see... wherever you saw the river, the mountains were in the background, still covered in snow.

From the east side of the river, in this picture you can't see the mountains, but they were there! The shadows hid them from this vantage point.

Setting up camp is always lots of fun, deciding where to situate things and getting the fire going.

As we worked to set up camp, the wind began to blow, and I looked up and saw this incredible rainbow forming overhead!  It was magnificent!

A light drizzle of rain began but it was more like a mist than rain.  The rainbow continued to form, growing brighter and brighter as the storm hovered around us.

And then two of them formed!  Can you see the second one?

Absolutely incredible to see both these rainbows hovering over the mountain in perfect formation.

I caught this splash of brilliant color as its glorious colors filled the sky.

 Meanwhile, Riley had found something quite interesting to chew on, so she stayed with me while I snapped pictures of the rainbow, completely unaware of it all, enjoying her own joys of camping...

Soon there was a roaring fire built and it was time to get supper.  Whenever we camp, I like to bring a meal already cooked that can just be heated, as setting up camp sometimes can take longer than you realize.  Today, I made a Cowboy Soup and brought homemade cornbread with it.  It was the PERFECT meal after the busyness of setting up camp, and watching the rainbow!

Isn't that the cutest beggar you've ever seen? Yes, she has the science of begging down to a fine art!

After dinner was cleaned up, we walked downstream and in this picture you can see our campsite off in the distance.

We found quite a few Morel mushrooms as we walked, and that was very exciting!

As the sun began to set, we made our way back to camp, enjoying the gorgeous sunset colors in the sky.

The weather was perfect for sleeping, in the low 50s.  Soon a beautiful morning dawned upon us.

In the still morning light, the river was calm while the sleepy sunlight lazily bounced around us.

A picture that speaks of the serenity and beauty of this little camping spot.  After we ate breakfast, we read through several chapters of Proverbs, and shared what many of the Proverbs we read meant to us, and lessons we could learn from them, and then we had prayer together. It was a very special time with us and the Lord, outside in the most beautiful, peaceful setting.

After all the excitement of morning coffee and breakfast of bacon, eggs and fried potatoes, the cutest little beggar needed a nap...

My husband and I took our lawn chairs down by the riverbanks and stretched out to enjoy the sun and the view.  I think we both napped too... :) The soothing rush and constant roar of the river was music to our souls, the kind we like best.

I know I took far too many pictures of this little piece of heaven we were camping in... as quite soon the snow will be gone off the mountain peaks, but for today, we enjoyed the luxury of feeling warm in the cool breeze off the snow-covered peaks.

Many trails beckoned us onward to explore...

While walking on one of the trails, my husband spotted this snake, that I was just about to step on! My husband, being the native Texan that he is, is a pro at spotting such things.  I was just happily walking along enjoying the moment, oblivious to the slithering going on by my feet!

Luckily this was just a harmless little snake that soon was scooped up and taken back to the banks of the river where his home no doubt is.  North Idaho has no poisonous snakes, and of course my husband assured me that he had no triangular shape to his head, so we were fine.  Whew!

After our little excursion, and snake adventure, we all needed a nap, Riley included.  She managed to find the softest bed around!  The rest of us napped in lawn chairs, while our friend got out her cot and napped on it, with Riley all snuggled close.  She likes her creature comforts!

We woke up to hear the shrill call of the hawk overhead, circling for his dinner.  He moved quickly, and I was lucky to get this picture of him.  He kept his distance from us.

One last view of the mountains before it was time to pack up and head home.  Our hearts were full of contentment and simple serenity and joy of being able to camp and enjoy the beauty of the Lord's creation with our good friends.  Plans are already being made for another such camping trip. We won't be going camping this weekend, as more work needs to continue - trees, garden, house maintenance, and the like... but as soon as time and weather permits, we hope to get out and camp along the river again.

So you can see that the month of May has been a busy one ~ from the time capsule ~ to evening rides ~ to Mother's Day celebrations ~ and taking in a Lost in the 50s parade, along with working on clearing out our dead trees (always an ongoing job), that we are busting at the seams with joy for the delights of springtime in all its glory here.

As we remember the heroes of our country this weekend, who have put their lives on the line for our freedoms and while we enjoy good food, friends and fellowship, may we all remain very thankful for the freedoms that we are afforded in this country and a heartfelt gratefulness and thankfulness for the bountiful blessings of the Lord that we enjoy each and every day.  Let us never take it for granted! Happy Memorial Day to all :)

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Special Day in the Mountains

Well, the title is kind of funny, because we LIVE on a mountain, but still.... my husband and I have a favorite thing to do together, and that is to get in one of our mountain rambler vehicles and go out into the hills and mountains around our place, exploring, and just enjoying being together.

Snow capped mountains embraced the views as we traveled along a dusty little road that curved back into the mountains.

Our drive turned into a detour because of mudslides that had shut down the road we planned to take.

But we love detours on this kind of day, because we get to travel down roads we might have missed. We encountered this quaint one lane bridge on the detour.

Someone had put Christmas lights on the bridge and left them there for the season.  We must come back at Christmas to see them lit up!

The cold waters of the river carrying snow melt rushed below us.

We found a trail along the river and followed it as it meandered along.

Trillium were in bloom throughout the forest, their happy faces announcing springtime's arrival.

As we walked along the river, the soothing melody of the rushing waters was music to our souls.

We found an old rotten log to sit on and just sat by the river, drinking in the beauty of the moment, and the music of the stream as it rushed past us.

In our own little paradise, it seemed time itself stopped as we took the time to listen, and to feel the very heartbeat of the Lord in that place.

After soaking in the beauty of our little spot in paradise until it seemed our very souls would burst with the joy and peace we felt, we continued our hike through the woods, thankful for the the glorious moments sitting by the stream had given us.

We came to a bridge crossing the stream, and stood amazed to see a tree that had grown out of the side of the bank, turned, and lifted itself straight up towards the sun.  I knew the lesson from that little tree well.  
Don't let adversity hinder you from finding your way to the SON.  
He can take your brokenness, your mistakes, and your misguided efforts, 
and turn them into something beautiful, 
when your face and life looks to HIM. 

What a beautiful thing you can become, 
because of the SON. 

For if that little tree had not tried to lift its life towards the sun, 
it would have perished in the cold waters of the stream, 
but because it looked upward, 
instead of out, around, or down... 
it survived by looking up
and remains a lesson for us all to see. 

Many trees have perished during the storms passing their way along this little stream. But the amazing thing is that the brave little tree was a survivor.

An incredible lesson that blessed our hearts as we pondered it.

Here is a video of the little stream that blessed our hearts. I hope it is a blessing to you too!

We got back into our vehicle and headed deep into the heart of the mountains, winding our way, up and around an old logging road.  Privacy is never an issue here in these mountains... so vast is the terrain that seldom do you ever see anything or anyone except for the wildlife.

Many mountain streams were encountered throughout our drive... tiny one-lane bridges crossing them.. built by the logging companies who once logged this area.  We stopped to enjoy each one of them.

The roads wind and move us on, deeper and deeper into the forest, all grown up since being logged many years ago.  We stopped and hiked several little "deer trails".  On one of them we saw huge amounts of moose droppings.  In fact, you couldn't even walk the trail without stepping in them.  We hiked for a while, clapping our hands, and making lots of noise.  We stopped for a minute to look at the view spread before us.  And then we heard a crashing heavy sound behind us.  We turned and saw a large flash of fur in the trees.  It was time to go!  We made our way quickly back down the trail, keeping a close eye around us.  We did not want to meet this moose on her terrain!  Back in the truck, we paused to see if she would come out, but she didn't.  But we were glad to leave her be, alone in the place she calls home.

The cool stillness of the mountain air and the darkening hues of the sky let us know night was coming, and that it was time to head back home.

We passed by a local buffalo farm, and stopped to watch them.

He was quite unimpressed with me. We stared at each other for a moment or two, and then I slowly raised my camera to take a picture.  He went back to grazing, there was more important things to do than watch me, lol.

The mountains were shadowed in the distance, with shades of pink drifting across the skies.

A close-up showed he really wasn't thrilled about my attentions at all.  Just as well, we enjoyed watching them graze as the daylight faded away.  

Looking at the family's little cabin who owns this farm, we thought it an idyllic spot to live... we loved the front porch, and simple design of the cabin. But the views remained the most spectacular part of it all.

Soon our adventure came to an end as we finished the day back at home, sitting outside in our lounge chairs, watching the moon come up, and thankful for the little getaway that we had together, in the midst of all the work we needed to be doing.  But sometimes... a day away like this is just what you need to get your "batteries recharged" for the long days of work ahead.  :)