Welcome to YAAK Adventures


Live Richly, Live Free. Embrace All The Blessings From Our Creator and Marvel in His Creation.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


   "Mama, the pigs are all dead!" my husband exclaimed loudly as he bust in the door this past Sunday Morning.  There was a mixture of anger and grief in his voice that made me feel like I'd been sucker punched.  I had to be hearing wrong, surely there was some mistake.  I started thinking back to my German Shepherd barking early that morning in the house and to the barking I'd heard outside earlier.  Suddenly the sickening realization hit me that dogs had come in and decimated our beautiful piglets.  I felt weak and had to go get on my knees to pray.  I didn't know what else to do.  I knew my boys were mad as hornets loading up their guns having seen the dogs inside the pen and I was afraid a war with some neighbor was going to ensue.  Our beautiful, wonderful, sweet piggies - there one day and gone the next.  My cousin, visiting for the first time - what a horrible thing for her to witness.  All the money we'd had to come up with for them and for the feed.  All these things just made me feel like I was drowning, but I quickly took the matter to God.  The next thing I did was start calling prayer warriors - my mom and my girlfriend.
   My mama reminded me that my boys and man would look at me and that I needed to be an example to them.  She also reminded me that they were only pigs and not my 6 year old.  That was some great advice.  As I prayed and interceded loudly, played worship and kept a good attitude, my husband paced back and forth.  He attempted to contact several neighbors.  He photographed the dead corpses.
   My cousin's husband woke up and confessed he'd heard the pigs being killed, but he was afraid to come out of his camper for fear that it was a bear or some such wild creature lurking about.  He just wasn't sure what to make of them squealing like that.
   7 am turned into 10 am and I decided my cousin and I should get out for a walk before she went on her way.  There was no point in ruining the visit.  My husband had a lead that the neighbors down the road may be the dogs owners.  As we neared that property, I felt like I really needed to go see them.  When I saw the black dog in their yard, I just knew, it was them...........
    A kindly man sat on the porch with his bible.  His wife sat there at his side.  They seemed like nice people.  I asked them if they had another dog.  They both looked worried.  They'd just sent one away with their daughter who left.  They confessed what the dog looked like.  It had the same orange collar.  It was the same pair of dogs.  I had prayed that God would prepare the owners ahead of time and I was so relieved when the man said that he "knew something was wrong" about them and that they'd been out running.  When I told them about our pigs, they felt just terrible and immediately got a checkbook out, writing for more than what I told them it would cost to replace them.  I was so grateful that the ordeal was over, but more than that, I was immensely relieved that we'd had such a good interaction with them.  They were honorable and did the right thing and I forgave them and that's how things should be between Believers.
   Every day seems to be a new party of sorts since my kids arrived home from MN.  We are all finally back together again and I feel like I'm alive again after being dead for a very long time.  The long hard grief is finally dissipating just like the snow melting off the mountains.  My red headed dreadlock daughter came home bringing life to everybody around her.  Half the time Archer, his wife and my chubby grandbaby are around too.  Its such a wonderful time and the party never seems to end. 
   Today they worked on Saphira's espresso booth which will be opening this week.  They had so much fun sawing and nailing and measuring.  We all went backpacking deep into a string of lakes which was amazing, exhausting and exhilarating.  Before that we all went camping at our "turtle safari" lake.  We've had bonfires and visits with friends and picnics, fishing outings and the list goes on.  Its been like a vacation that never ends.  The kids were determined to get the most out of their summer and I was determined to get the most out of being with the kids.  All in all its been a wonderful marathon of fun filled days.
  I especially LOVE the characters we've been enjoying - The Oklahoman Family who bought our house on the mountain have some real grit.  The boys wear cowboy hats and boots and talk with a drawl.  They have so much character you can't help but smile every time you see them.  We had a big ol' picnic with the entire family down at the lake one day and it was such hoot. 
   Everyday our house and shop property bustles about with a constant flow of traffic.  My husband is always busy and a week behind on fixing somebodies something.  From tractors to chainsaws and everything in between, he's earned quite the reputation for being the one who can fix anything.  I'm thankful for the goodness of so many here in our valley, who all seem to love my husband.

Friday, April 3, 2015

"Your Belly Looks and Feels Like Bread Dough"

   Spring seemed to come out of no where, but it was more than welcome.  I never really got the tranquil winter I wished for.  We didn't end up with much snow.  There was always another gun show, another place to go or thing to do and I never ended up feeling "settled".  The snow left as quickly as it came giving us a record early spring.  My cross country skis traded for running shoes, I began pounding the pavement haphazardly yelling at my dog every so often as I tried to keep tabs on her.
   Part of me rebelled daily against living in the main part of Yaak feeling like my life was on display for everybody to see, but the other part of me forced myself to take advantage of being around people.  Many of the days I was home, I worked out with my eccentric neighbor lady in her "girl cave".  She lives on a heavenly 40 acres of river in a log house overlooking a long stretch of waters.  She has elk, deer and turkeys all over her yard, along with her horses, dogs and cats.  She doesn't like to leave her home much, and welcomed having a friend to exercise with. Having almost every exercise dvd known to man, or so it seemed, she always had something new to mix things up with.
   Skiing with Elasta Woman and Gracie was fun, but the snow never stayed ideal for long.  In truth, putting away my skis was kind of a relief.  I flirted with the idea of signing up for a run, but lacked the motivation.  Still it egged the back of my mind until I felt rather yolky.  Finally, I couldn't hold back any longer and caved, signing up for Bloomsday.  Strangely, I found my Bloomie recruits at the local bar, no kidding.  I just so happened to end up dropping in on just the right days when somebody remotely my age was there.  The first time was at Crafty Kay's Good Bye Party.  After that it was at The Saint Patricks Day Party.  The conversation would go something like this "I never go here do you?  Do you run?  You do?  Great, lets FB".  Before long, we had a good little group of runners of whom I was the eldest and likely the shortest.  When I met our last recruit - a 20 something blonde - half my age and twice as tall, I really began questioning my sanity.  "What the heck are you thinking?"  I argued with myself.  "I don't know" I argued back.  "Maybe the challenge is good for me"  "Maybe you are just not all there in the head".  Usually the fight ends when I realize that arguing with myself only enforces that last idea.  In the end, she proved to be a kick butt runner and a sweet girl I would never in a zillion years keep up with, but I didn't care.  It makes me happy just to motivate others, and that is sometimes enough to motivate me. 
   And so it was that we had developed an informal girls running club.  Elasta Woman and Mist joined us as much as they could which made it feel like "the good old days" to me.  Tall Blondie of course paces ahead, but I'm good with that.  Then there is another girlfriend to add to my stories, she's still 10 years younger than me, but thankfully a little better matched to my pace.  I'm going to call her Belle.  We have an awful lot in common and that seems to make the miles go by a little faster.  She also knows a lot about yoga and those post stretches really make a difference.
   The other less than sane activity of which I pioneered is my new Facebook group "April Crunch and Munch" where I elicit a bunch of women to do crunches daily and eat more veggies.  Putting that kind of pressure on myself to preform crunches seems to be the only way I can motivate myself to faithfully do them.  Again, back to the above argument.
      In wrapping things up, I was enjoying a lazy, hot bath after pounding pavement, minding my own business, when Miss Moonbeam busted into the bathroom, stripped off her clothes and shamelessly bounced into the tub poking and prodding my belly.  It was then that she made that profound observation "Mama, your belly looks and feels like bread dough so I am pretending to knead it".  "Great just great" I thought.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bring Your Moose To Work Day

"YaaYaa" and I

I questioned myself more than once that day, and I couldn't honestly vouch for myself. What was I thinking? What had ever brought me to this point? I glanced over at the gigantic stuffed moose buckled into the passenger seat of my Toyota 4-Runner. I wondered if the Border Patrol agent that I was driving by could get a good glimpse of him. He waved - not the moose - the agent. He had an odd look on his face. I was pretty sure that the moose had been spotted. A sick feeling entered my stomach. What had I done? Oh God, What had I done?

That morning, I was planning my 24 hour marathon, or so I called it. All my kids were packed up to spend a day and night in Bonners Ferry. Art Dog was scheduled to spend the day testing for 2 sections of GED. The kids and I were going to the REC center in Canada to swim with our friends The Moseses. Then I was intercepting Art Dog, driving back to the Moseses and leaving all my kids there for the night while I worked a 12 hour night shift. Only young mothers and speed addicts would consider such a plight, but the lure of water was too much for me and I craved swimming laps more than I craved sleep or the ability to rationally function.

All of it seemed to be pulling off with slick satisfaction. I got my fix of lap swimming, I lounged in the hot tub. I played with the kids and visited with my girlfriend Yaayaa. We had a grand ol' time. Of course I would have to embarrass myself SOMEHOW and so I succeeded with that when I dove off the diving board, swam over to Yaayaa and she informed me that my nipple was sticking out of my swim get up. I looked down. Sure enough, my nipple was, indeed, hanging out there catching some prime daylight in the Canadian public eye.

I glanced over at my moose. We were nearing the hospital. He informed me that it would be impolite to leave him in the car all night. He said he might like to come in and visit. My stomach lurched.......

After the pool, I was feeling tuckered. It was also the first day of my moon cycle and I was feeling a bit lunar not to mention, tuckered. I once heard a wise woman say never to shop when it is the first day of your moon cycle, but that wisdom was clouded in my exhaustion and drive to run a million errands. Art dog was standing on a tall rock outside of the college office waving his arms to and fro. I slammed on the breaks and turned around. He proudly displayed a curled and used looking windshield scraper. He told me "women just don't know what to look for at thrift stores." I rolled my eyes secretly glad that most of the time men didn't come with me thrift shopping.

We had to take something back to another thrift store before we could head back to Moseses. Art Dog dawdled looking at stuff and so I browsed around until I had a large pile of items to try on. At long last we were leaving when I saw him out of the corner of my eye. He was near the door, and seemed to be calling out to me. He was the most gigantic moose I had ever seen. Big, Brown, Fluffy and with a cute brown gingham bow. I HAD to ask. The elderly lady smiled at me and said "He just got here. How about five bucks?". I said "I'll take him!!" i was so thrilled until I picked him up. He was uh, bigger than me. Well he had to be worth a fortune, what a deal!! Art Dog glanced over at me. "What are you going to do with him? He asked rather gingerly. I said "I don't know". That thought never occurred to me when I was buying him. Now I wondered "WHAT WOULD I DO WITH HIM?" I wondered. Art Dog reminded me that we live in a very small home and that Dad might not much want to share it with a very large moose. That thought hadn't occurred to me either. I told him that and he started laughing. "What were you thinking?" He asked me. I really don't know what I was thinking. He was just cute and big and seemed worth more than five bucks. I suggested I sell him at the next gun show. He said "nope, no room". I thought maybe I could keep him in my 4-Runner as a permanent passenger, but even as I thought it, I knew that wouldn't work with my dog and kids needing priority. Soon all kinds of crazy scenarios were unfolding in my mind and panic was over taking me. What had I done?

At the Moseses House, I carefully did not draw attention to my purchase. I snuck into their home quietly and ate a large portion of Yaayaa's "gooolosh". Yaayaa is from Czech Republic and she knows her gooolosh. I ate lumberjack proportions and flopped over on her couch in a gooolosh coma. When I came to, it was time to head to work. The kids were all playing and nobody cared at all that I was leaving. Yaayaa walked me out to my car and said very surprised "What is that?!?!" She had spotted my moose. It was kind of hard not to spot him. She asked me why I bought him. I told her "I don't know". She laughed and called her husband over. He asked me what I thought my husband would think. I told him "I don't know". We all knew my husband would not be impressed. They asked me where he would go. I didn't know that either. Super Catman, hearing the commotion ran up to the car. "What is that?!?! He asked horrified. Art Dog was laughing too. We all wondered what I would do with the mammoth moose.......

The monstrous moose and I had a conversation all the way to work. Mostly, I was regretting his purchase and not having gotten much rest. I apologized to him, but told him that i didn't think things were going to work out for us. He seemed hurt. I replayed all possible moose scenarios in my head and none of them looked to be turning out well. I felt stupid and embarrassed that I was such a waster of funds. My poor husband is at home slaving away in his shop while I am gallivanting around buying stuffed animals I have no use for.

The still small voice told me to bring him into work. I balked. I knew I had to do it. I also knew that when the moment was right, I would need to let go of my new oversized toy. I hefted him up. He looked to be taller and wider than me, so it looked like a giant stuffed animal was walking into the hospital. He attracted a lot of attention. Many employees gathered around me and asked me what was going on. I told them in a very confident and convincing manner "Didn't you know? Its bring your moose to work day!" Everyone was really excited. They whispered back and forth "Did you know that it is bring your moose to work day?!" Several of them took out cameras and began snapping shots. Employees were talking and laughing and pandemonium was beginning to break out. I placed the mammoth moose in an office chair and positioned my coffee cup near him. All evening, employees were taking selfies with him, bringing him in to see the patients and asking me endless questions about him. I became an instant celebrity. Soon the moose had his own facebook album. I went from feeling really stupid to quite clever. We all decided he was worth an untold fortune but I informed them I was accepting offers. Now I didn't want to give him up at all, but deep down I knew I needed to. He had really livened up an otherwise mundane shift. In the end, a new grandmother offered me a good bit more than I'd paid for him and I waved a bitter sweet goodbye.

In the morning, Art Dog drove us all home. He was very proud of me and that made it all worthwhile. "Mom" he said "I won't question you next time you think something is valuable." Both boys were very impressed with my profit. Still, I missed my moose, but their pride made me feel a bit better. Buying and selling and making good investments are a big deal to them. After all, thats what they pride themselves with doing gunshows. Nobody could wait to get home and tell Dad about all the adventures, and of course Mom's crazy moose.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Goat Girl's Baby and Gracie's New Job

Goat Girls Baby now - Baby Billy Goat with Miss Moonbeam:-)

Goat Girl's Miracle
I got to lend a helping hand
As you can see, she is soooo happy!!
Gracie Taking on the job!!
Taken through the window, we will have devotions here sometime this spring :-)
Where Gracie's Family will stay as Care Takers
The Spectacular and Legendary Estate
Here are some fun new pictures from when our beloved Goat Girl had her baby.  I got to be there with her most of the day.  It was a really special experience. 
Also our Gracie moved into a very legendary Estate in The Yaak.  She and her family will now be care takers for it.  Their boys are so excited to be there!!  Just walking through the old lodge, helping her clean was a really inspiring experience.  It spoke of many years gone by, rich in history and tales forgotton.  Super Catman helped the boys find a hidden room while Mist, Gracie and I cleaned cobwebs and gained tidbits of the mysteries the old place whispers.

Elasta Woman's girls are away with grandparents this week.  She and Matthew had a fun get away snowmobiling into hot springs in Canada. 
Goat Girl is getting her husband's grandbaby back this coming month.  He is a precious 2 year old who needs lots of love and stability.  We are all so excited to see him returning to her, as we know she's an awesome mama :-)
Mist just got back from a trip to California to see her little niece for the very first time!!
I've been extra blonde this week.  I started with a calamity of errors on Monday that seemed to never end.  I took Art Dog in to get his GED testing started.  The front desk girls looked at me like I was smoking wackie tabacci.  We finally figured out that they scheduled him in another city.  It was a crazy turn of events, but eventually they figured out a way to start his pre-testing for GED, which took the better part of the day.  Meanwhile I chased around Dr appts for Super Catman, and after hours upon hours discovered I could have treated him the same at home and with less headache.  I marched the kids into home school co-op to spend time with some friends only to realize that co-op was not till the next day.  Art Dog was loopy after hours of testing and he scared the crap out of me driving us home.  On and on I seemed to be blonder and blonder until I ended the day frying egg rolls at 8:00 that night for a very late dinner.
Last night, Miss Moonbeam and I had a serious talk.  We talked about how some kids do not live with both parents and how its very important for married people to spend special time together.  This talk was inspired by our pictures that were up on the bedroom wall from Hawaii.  As she snuggled with me in my tall log bed, she began silently crying.  I asked her why she was crying.  She told me she missed her husband Dr. Poopoo very much.  I was puzzled.  Since Dr. Poopoo is imaginary, I couldn't figure out why he was missing.  On and on she sobbed.  I began to wonder if there was some kind of imaginary separation or divorce going on, perhaps imaginary infidelity.  In the end, it turned out she was just missing the cardboard box that Art Dog had drawn for her.  I figure that's an easy fix ;-)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Springs of Living Water

The Following Photos are from our Hot Springs Trip
text-align: center;">
This photo is the Spring run off I'm writing about

It was a quiet morning in the Yaak and all the turmoils of the past year seemed to be buried in the muddy new yard that we'd carved onto the properties bench. This February was unusually warm, and mud seemed to be everywhere. I wasn't sure where all the mud was coming from, but it was the least of my concerns. I was busy doing school with the kids, prepping meals, cleaning the house and getting ready for a night shift. Kevin called me over to the door and said "look". Out I looked and was amazed to see a spring that had appeared out of the side of the hill flowing down into the yard and down the drive. I got so excited. Instantly I remember the words of Mist last summer trying to convince me that the property wasn't so bad. She knew I wanted to be by water desperately and said "well maybe God will make Springs come out of the ground for you". I believed her and it helped me with the whole closing process that was so traumatic. So, seeing that spring come out of the ground was kind of like a Gift from God saying "see I really can do anything for somebody who tries to keep their heart right". I was giddy to the point of laughing. My husband later discovered another one on the other side of the house. I kept laughing saying "God is doing this for me!!" He got mad and said it wasn't God and that it was a bad thing. I couldn't believe that for a minute. After all, Mist had said God could do that for me clear back last summer. I laughed and laughed all the way to work.

When I got home, things were a different story though. The boys greeted me saying "see Dad was right the springs are bad!!" One concern in the back of my mind turned out to be true. The crawl space underneath the house, where I'd stored containers of food, clothes, and all kinds of random things was flooded. Soon my happy springs turned into nightmare springs and I was climbing down into deep sucking mud to try and get some of the stuff out of there. Right away I realized that there was no way I was getting it out. I sunk down into mud so deep that I couldn't even take a step. Finally I made my way across in high places and to my relief, most of the stuff was on high ground. I knew I couldn't move it through to the access hole, so I just moved what I could higher and hoped for the best. Then I picked up a little bit of floating trash, cardboard boxes and random house building pieces and maneuvered them up through the hole. It was unnerving and I was feeling overwhelmed, but it felt good to start with something.

Then I decided to tackle the problem from the outside. The boys had already diverted most of the water away from the house, but as they diverted, they discovered that more springs were popping up. Soon not one but two, then 3, then more were coming out of the porous mountain rock.

Soon I was digging trenches to divert water and back in my childhood yard remembering that I'd done the same thing every spring. I had forgotten how much fun it could be watching water flow through the little ditches and controlling their direction. The same giddy feeling returned and I decided that my husband could figure out how to get the water out of the crawl space, that it was temporary and that God, indeed sent the springs. I dug in the mud, lost for what seemed like an eternity until Gracies engine brought me back from the age of 10

Rootbeer on our Hot Springs Trip

Roasting Marshmallows on vacation at Lochsaw Lodge Cabins
to 40 something and I was racing around to get ready for our cross country ski outing.

We'd had a good devotion earlier that week, reading Heidi Baker's "Birthing The Miraculous". In it, she reminded the readers that water always flows into the lowest places and she compared it to Gods Spirit flowing over humble hearts. The lower you go, the more immersed in water you allow yourself to be. Every time the water went the wrong direction, the insight seemed to remind me that my heart has to keep low for the water to go in the right direction.

Elasta Woman, Gracie and I had been talking about all the miracles we'd seen God do. Now Goat girl had her baby, the one she'd always dreamed of - another miracle that we all got to be a part of. Elasta Woman's mom was miraculously alive after being given a 5% chance to live. Mist has 2 miracle babies after many many miscarriages. Elasta Woman's sister in law got a baby even though the Dr's thought it was impossible and could possibly take her life. On and on we recited miracles until it seemed like miracles were normal every day occurrences.

One last miracle was our last devotional group. A new woman came and shared that she had recently detoxed off of recreational drugs. She is a mom and wife and just wants to get back on track. She was excited to be learning and having us all as new friends. What a miracle it was to see her there, telling her story of how God did the impossible and got her clean so she could be a better mama to her 2 year old.


I'm afraid I've neglected this blog and I'm sorry about that, not so much because I like making people laugh at my crazy antics, or because there are more pictures than I'll ever catch up with, but because a lot of Gods miracles have passed through and they didn't get recorded like they should have. I promise I'll try harder to make time for blogging.