Welcome to YAAK Adventures


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

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Big Bad Boogie Man Is Into Arts and Crafts



My earliest memories of art class around Kindergarten involved my grandmother trying to convince my art teacher that I was “really gifted”.  My grandmother, being a rather outspoken matriarch had marched into parent teacher conferences with the attitude that I was some kind of Picasso in the making.  The art teacher smiled politely but didn’t comment much.  Shortly after my turn, I remember hearing her rave about another student.  It was the first subtle hint jogging my memories that I was on the verge of something evil to come……

   Creepy, foreboding forest with an unnatural hush in the air is the setting.  Even the animals are too terrified to move or utter sound.  They know that horror lurks and its sharp, strong jaw will clench them if they but wince.  Then I come ambling along, too preoccupied to see the danger lurking.  “Fa la la la la” I hum loudly, tripping over my shoe laces.  A whoosh in the brush, a whir, a horrible, bone chilling scream and I am suddenly ambushed by none other than……………..art.

   Seriously, its been that way with me and crafts for some time now.  That Kindergarten memory was just the beginning.  At camp Wannakewin, I made a wide circle around the craft cabin and avoided it at all costs.  Even torrential rain and mosquitoes was better than going in there!!  In Jr High, I was getting an “F” in art.  I had to beg my boyfriend, now husband to cheat and submit some assignments for me just to pull up to a “D-“.  Another memory was the time a Sr. High boy drug me off into the art closet, locking us in together while the whole class roared in laughter at my screams and bangs on the door to be let out.  At the time, the art teacher thought it was funny.  Memory after memory of failed art projects, mean kids and unimpressed art mentors plague me.  By the time adulthood rolled around, and I get invited to do crafts with other women here and there, I flat out retort “Crafts Creep Me Out!”  Usually an eye roll is involved on the part of the inviting female.  They remain unimpressed with my lack of enthusiasm.  I truly mean with all my heart “Crafts Creep Me Out” and they do.

  If I don’t hum loudly and I hold really still and don’t breathe, when art passes by, he might not get me.  Still, every so often, I find him sniffing about hungrily wanting to devour me.  He’s the kind of raging animal that wakes me up in a cold sweat.  I suspect he’s been peering in the window at me while I am innocently drooling on my pillow.  He ever so cautiously waits to spring on me when I least expect it.  Sometimes he hides under my bed ready to gnaw my ankle off at the first sight of my foot hitting the floor.  It’s a totally irrational fear, about as rational as the Boogie man hiding under my bed.  Still, just typing about him makes me feel like hyperventilating.

   This big bad Boogie man had been holding my girlfriend Elasta Woman in chains for quite some time now.  He has her fascinated in this dreadful obsession called “crochet”.  Just like any unhealthy addiction such as drugs and alcohol, Elasta Woman got sucked into this terrible vortex of “triple treble”.  I tried to warn her about the evils of this crafty vice, but she just laughed it off and got her kids sucked in.  Before long her girls were making all manner of hats, scarves and even dresses.  Soon Goat girl and Mist were addicted.  This terrible plague seemed contagious and wide spread to all who were exposed.  “Krafty Kay” seemed to be the ring leader or yarn pusher if you will.  She seemed like a nice young mom from all outer appearances, but if you take a closer look, you will find that she and the whole craft thing are tight.  If you pull on the monstrous weave of tightly knit stitches, you will find “Krafty Kay” right smack dab in the center of all the handiwork.  What lengths would she go to to infect the entire valley with her fiendish scheme? 

  You guessed it.  She held another crocheting craft day at her apartment connected to the mercantile with all my innocent, addicted girlfriends, slaves, crocheted in its clutches.  This time Elasta Woman rather strongly suggested I attend.

   Night after night I tossed and turned, dreading the day.  Its like inviting your girlfriend to have a root canal with you, or maybe a colonoscopy.  What kind of warped mind thinks crocheting with a bunch of other girlfriends is fun anyway?  I gladly accepted a night shift working as an Emergency RN the night before, knowing it would delay the inevitable as I would have to sleep some of the day away.  At some point I would have to get up and show up.  I dawdled, drinking some coffee, washing my dishes, cleaning up dog puke and checking news on face book.  I knew I was about to face a ghastly opponent.  My stomach lurched.  I wanted to purl – I mean hurl.  I held back involuntary wretches as I stepped out the door with my kids in tow.  I could no longer delay the inevitable…….

      The girls seemed genuinely happy to see me upon my arrival.  Nervously I settled into a chair, bracing myself.  They all seemed oblivious of my discomfort.  Krafty Kay had me sit reeeaaal close to her so she could show me how to start my stitching pattern.  I forced myself to breath evenly.  “Show no fear” I reminded myself.  Thankfully, there was food on the counter and Miss Belly Fat called to me often.  I suspect that she and art are in cahoots with each other.  I tried to explain to the girls about my irrational fear of crafts.  I told them it was kind of like the time we all went cliff jumping.  “Remember being frozen out on that ledge?” I asked them.  They frowned and none of them felt they could reasonably compare crocheting with cliff jumping. 

   Bravely, like Dora on “Finding Nemo”, I repeated to myself “just keep crocheting” “just keep crocheting”.  At first it all looked like a menacing jumble of knots, but over time I could pick out just a bit of pattern.  The girls all encouraged me with words like “you can do it” and “look at you go”.  Gracie suggested “Just pretend like crocheting is not a craft”.  Later on Rabbit, Elasta Woman’s daughter rubbed my shoulders as I battled ferociously.  I imagined myself as Rocky in a fighting ring.  That old Rocky music was playing loudly, inspiring me.  Rabbit was like the coach on the corner between rounds.  I was really ready to knock out some bad boxer, maybe even the Boogie Man himself.  On and on, round after round I stitched suppressing the fears that shrieked loudly “Stop it right now!!  You don’t do crafts!!”

   When it was finally time to go home and get ready for work again I had an actual piece of work started.  It is a partially formed hat.  Remember the time all the girls sat around in a circle and whispered about you?  That’s how crafts were for me.  They were and still are kind of like a clique that I wasn’t a part of.  I was always an outsider, looking in, too insecure to even attempt to join them, embarrassed of myself letting my imagination go wild about what those girls might be whispering.  My shoulders slump, my head hangs down and I want to hide.  Somehow, today, just some how, the Boogie man wasn’t quite so threatening.  Somehow I managed to do some stitches like the other girls and bravely moved into uncharted territory.  Really, I think crafting is just as terrifying to me as cliff jumping.  It makes me sick to grab that hook and move the yarn around.  I want to throw up, but I force myself to do it anyway.  I asked God not to let me live my life missing out on anything.  Long ago I learned that the secret to getting out of yourself is to do things afraid.  That’s what I did and that’s how I accomplished part of a hat today.  Elasta Woman looked pleased and proud of me.  I smiled, wearing the hat that she recently stitched for me...............................

Friday, November 21, 2014

"The Cabin" - rewritten

I blame "the cabin" for my writing inspiration, but especially for its lack thereof....... I had written a detailed documentary of the cabin and its horrors only to have my husband read it and say that no way was it publishable. That teed me off and I thought "forget it, I'm not writing!!" Of course I knew the story was probably not all that appropriate for varied readers, but it was my story and the inability to share it made me feel a bit hedged.

It is nearly impossible to tell of the horrors of my life these past few months without giving due credit to "the cabin", so I will try once again with better perspective....................

The day came and went for the old man to move out of the cabin. Part of me greatly anticipated his departure, as it felt weird sharing the same property with him. I didn't know him, and living on the same property with a stranger put me continually on edge. Alas, the day came when he did, finally go, and along with him left my sanity.

Several times I inched through the cabin. Each and every time I was out of my mind with terror. Secret fantasies lurked in my mind involving gasoline and a match. In the end, my husband was very firm in advising that I would, indeed, move into the cabin. After that, fantasies of jumping on a train to my moms were entertained quite regularly.

After one particular Sunday service, I really really lost it. A lot of things compounded my agony, but mice breaking into my stash of several bags of Garden of Eaten' organic blue chips finished me off. I arrived at my girlfriends house in complete misery, describing multiple credible reasons why my moving into the cabin was not a rational one. She in turn, convinced me that Jesus was bigger than any known problem of the cabin and that she would help me clean it. Other girlfriends echoed in unison.

I had been advised to wear a space suit type apparatus, which I didn't possess. Some of my girlfriends husbands would't allow them to help me after all, as they too, were afraid. In the end, Elasta Woman and Goat Girl worked like dogs helping me sanitize and disinfect every inch of space. The fear left me and I felt Gods presence. It was empowering to no longer be afraid. Few things in life have been so difficult as cleaning and moving into that cabin, but one thing is for certain, Gods power was bigger than my fears and without Jesus loving girlfriends I don't know what would have become of me.

I can't say its been all peaches and cream since then. The day came for the motor home to be winterized and although God gave us an Indian Summer, freezing weather was bound to show up. I really really loved the shower in the motorhome. It has a pretty sky window, and although a short half life, the water is hot!! In the cabin, "hot" is a loose term when it comes to water there, as is "privacy" since the kitchen/bathroom are kind of combined in this bacheolor pad. Thankfully, Art Dog hung a curtian up just in time as the next day one of the workmen came in looking for water while I was on the biffy. I still cannot bring myself to observe the "tower of poop" which the men and boys are quite proud of exhibited in the outhouse. I will take my chances with the kitchen toilet.

As I agonized over the humiliation of living in that tiny bachelor pad, a lot of other good things were taking place. The new house was being built and God continued to be faithful. The workmen worked hard and fast. They tried hard to make sure we had every advantage. I made them coffee and desserts in the morning and allot of time lunches. At first it was hard cooking, as for months all I had to cook on was a grill and burner top. The RV had a tiny convection oven, but it usually shorted out the electricity making it pretty worthless in the end. After a time, I found an oven on Craigslist and was thrilled the day it got installed. Again, it was short lived because giant flames leaped in the oven and the place filled up with gas smell. Again I was back to the grill until my husband eventually figured out how to fix the problem.

I was much too embarrassed to have any one over to "the cabin", and when people did come, I felt sick to my stomach. There was barely walking room and usually boxes all over the place. Having the men to cook for gave me something to do, though, and I found some joy in that. There was also endless painting, staining and oiling to be done. Most days I crawled into bed without an ounce of energy to be found left.

God also moved on my husband in many ways I never thought possible. Moving back here was the hardest thing in the world for me, especially moving into that cabin, but even in my darkness, God kept shining hope . I read "Chasing The Dragon" by Jackie Pullinger to the family in the mornings and the evenings. Goatgirl encouraged us to pray in the spirit more often. Small, but notable miracles began taking place and I knew that God had not forgotten me.

One of my miracles was "Sheeba", Archer's German Shepherd. He had sold her when he left for college. After a lot of correspondence, the new owner felt prompted to give her to me. She's a very dear dog and friend who wants to be with me every moment of the day. She's as near a guardian angel as a dog can get ;-) Her presence gave me a lot of comfort.

One day the bedroom in the house was ready to move into. Another day my husband hooked up the dryer so we wouldn't have to spend hours elsewhere drying clothes. It didn't all come at once, but when it came, I promised myself I would never take such things for granted ever again. Finally the day came when the men said they were through. This was a great relief, as we were putting out a lot of money each week. My husband was on his own to finish up. Secretly I hoped we could be living in the house by Thanksgiving, but I didn't say anything. It was hard enough not to nag him daily about what was left to do. After all, work in his new shop seemed to be pouring in and we both knew we needed the income.

Most of my days were busy and exhausting, many emotional, but when I remembered what was important, they were bearable. When I remember that having babies is such a small fleeting time, I embrace every day with Miss Moonbeam. When I remember boys messes soon leads to their absence, the messy cabin isn't such horrible place. When I remember that there are allot of divorced and widowed women alone in the world, my husband's crazy idea of dragging me out here isn't all that horrible either because at least I'm sharing his adventure and letting him follow his dreams while he still has the opportunity. All in all, if I don't focus too much on the brown liquid dripping off the open insulation in the ceiling onto the stove top, I can almost juggle some contentment ;-)

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Unknown Stalker

Future Shop
I was running, like I try to do most days, fighting for some kind of sanity to set in.......

The dog had run off exploring and as usual, and the whisper of water drew me off the gravel and into the forest. The compulsion in me to get to water never seems to quench itself. Its a never ending quest that consumes more time than I care to admit. This time though, the forest was too quiet and I didn't know that I'd picked up a stalker.........

Unknowingly the lion pursued me through the brush and back out to the lonely road, creeping along so I didn't know, only that something wasn't right. Suddenly the burden to pray overtook everything else and I was almost doubled over at the base of a big rock formation. I had planned to start running, little did I know running may have been a lethal choice at the moment. As I prayed, I suddenly felt empowered with the knowledge that my endless grieving had to come to an end. It was time for me to chose joy and to support my husband's decisions regardless of how I felt. I needed to make myself excited rather than dread each new day. The burden passed, but the conviction remained heavy as I stood up and turned around to yell for my wayward pup. Turning and shouting on the top of my lungs for the dog, I saw the flash of a long tail pass over the top of me on the rocks above. I shivered inadvertantly as the realization hit me hard, a lion had been crouched over the top of me and my abrupt standing turn, yelling for the dog deterred him. I kept yelling and the dog eventually came from up the road the opposite direction. Goose bumps rose all up and down my arms and I thanked God for His deliverance with fresh gratitude......

Some time around then, an old girlfriend of mine, whom I hadn't talked to in months had a dream in the middle of the night. She said she dreamed that I was pregnant with a daughter named "Hope", and it was a much anticipated and greatly celebrated child. In the next scene, my hope was aborted and she was at its funeral. She said woke up feeling like I needed to fight for Hope.......

Bizarre occurrences seemed to thwart my best efforts for a good attitude time and time again. I'd drive the hour to town, buy fresh organic groceries, master pack the RV refrigerator full and then it would quit. Expensive food would spoil and I'd have a big mess to clean up. That happened several times. We even got our 2 year old refrigerator out of storage to have that one conk out. Water lines froze up in a freak early frost. The outhouse remains only partly built, using it early before the men are down below working is always nagging the back of my subconscious. Every day life seems so overwhelming almost every day. I picture myself in a kind of Green Acres scenario. The man who sold us the property, who happens to have recently gotten out of prison, doesn't seem to want to move out of his cabin. There is building going on all around him, but he seems almost oblivious to it all. Since that cabin was supposed to be our temporary dwelling, our phone may end up getting hooked up some place outside. Not to mention that we haven't had a phone since June. I have to drive down the road with a phone card to use one. Even the fact that our RV is parked at the bottom of a gravel pit defys all sense of creativity lurking within me. Thankfully Elasta Woman suggested putting down a tarp underneath to catch the never ending powdery earth that clings to everything around it. This dirt haunts me daily, poking and jeering fiendishly.

Just as bizarre as the opposition, goodwill also seems to defy reason here. Our builders, Matthew and Bob have donated some of their own materials to our cause, as have several others. As I type, the man helping my husand mill lumber won't take much if anything. Gracies husband sowed his labor to help on the shop one day. Her dad donated days of labor and mini cat work to us. The Scottland family is still storing our stuff there for free. Art Dog works tirelessly, every day with no complaints. I am constantly humbled by the selflessness of so many kind souls. I am also reminded, every time I work in the Emergency Department, that many many people face insurmountable horrors to which I could not possibly fathom. Every shift, their reality slaps me in the face and says "what on earth do you have to complain about?!" My hope may have undergone some hard beatings when we closed on this property, but even with living life in this gravel pit, she slowly ressurects herself bit by bit daily.

Men Hard At Work

Weekend in Kalispell

Us Girls Got The Pool To Ourselves

House Building Material is Delivered

Standing in Our New Future Living Room

Future Kitchen

Girls Kayaking Adventure

"Making Mud Snowmen" on the river

My Husband Uses His Own Brand of Ingenuity for Loading Lumber to Mill

Matthew Helping Set Tresses

Tress Delivery

Mama Braves Lasagna On The Grill (But Does Not Brave Kids Eating It In The Motorhome)

Beginning Ground Breaking On The House Site

Playing On The Tarp

Wall Raising Day On The Shop

Swimming In A Nearby Lake

House Site Excavated

Excavator Carved Out and Designed This Beautiful Rock Holding Wall

Weekend Break at Koocanusa

Koocanusa Sand Hills

Shop Ground Breaking

Outhouse Builder Extrordinare

Cement Truck Pouring For Shop

House Site

Names in The Shop Floor with "Jesus is Welcome Here"

The Dreaded RV Site in The Gravel Pit