Archive for June, 2009

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Today’s OOSTL comes from Killarney, Manitoba. While Killarney is a small town, it’s not too small to have a tornado warning siren but it is small enough that they use the siren to signal that the volunteer firemen are to get to the station for a fire.


Killarney, MB, Canada

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Jenny and I had the chance to visit her mom and dad in their summer home in Canada. It’s a beautiful house lovingly restored.


This is the only place I’ve seen wild pelicans.


Myth Busting: Manitoba is flat. Most people think of Manitoba as flat. Here’s a shot heading North from their house. We’re on a slight hill and you can see for about 5 miles.

img_0734.jpg(click to enlarge)
Ah, but people never take into account “The Turtle Mountain Range”. This famous “mountain range” stretches into North Dakota. Today we shall dispense with the myth that southern Manitoba and North Dakota are flat. Here is a first hand picture of the actual Turtle Mountain range.


Lest you think that my vantage point is on the mountain and that the real top of the mountain is on the right of this image, I want to clarify that the camera was tilted when taking this picture. Sorry.

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Store Choices and Bridal Registries.Ya take what you can get sometimes. Compromises are made. And while some would disagree (me for example) that the fact that this bridal registry sign in at a Home Hardware store, it’s interesting how many people are on the list. (click image to enlarge)


We found this in Killarney, MB but it reminded me that the nearest store that most people think of when they think “bridal registry” is 25 miles away.

Sure, we have JCPenney, Sears and others but the national names near here are still 15 miles away and they’re “compromised.” For example:
* JCPenney: only sells clothes and the selection is nowhere near that of a store in a bigger city.
* Sears: only sells tractors, hardware, yard furniture, and appliances.
Together, the local JCPenney plus Sears make up a relatively complete store with a smaller than usual selection.

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Lumberjack as a career! Much of the economy here is supported by the lumber industry. I’ve seen several signs on restaurants, houses, and bumpers that read something to the effect of, “This (restaurant, house, car) supported by lumber.” With the housing market in the tank, the lumber mills are laying people off, cutting hours and shuttering their doors. There are some bright spots and a lot for city folks to learn about those forests they say they’re protecting.
I thought this shot of John (right) and Noah (left) Kinne earned a place here as they look out from the top of Hoodoo mountain.


Click the image to see the full shot.
John is a professional lumber jack who runs a small operation with his son. John has been up this mountain many times before. With Noah on his ATV and John and I in the Rhino we had quite a bit of time to chat on the 50 mile journey. It wasn’t long before he was educating me on forest management from planting a forest to preserving the best genetic lines of trees when clear cutting. I learned a lot about how perserving the forest and cutting down trees are very compatible when it’s done right.

Another perspective – Jonah and the whale

Monday, June 8th, 2009

We’re studying Jonah and the whale (biblical fundamentalists would rather I said “big fish,” but I digress). And while our pastor does a great job communicating God’s word, my mind sometimes wonders off. While Jim communicates in words, my mind tends to visualize what he’s saying. Sometimes adding it’s own perspective. Here are a few examples of doodles I made in church during a lapse of proper behavior.

When the sailors threw Jonah overboard into the stormy waters, my mind went to the persepective of the fish that the Lord instructed to swallow a human whole, swim around with him in it’s stomach, only to vomit him back up in three days. What must the fish have been thinking at the time?


The next week Jim described, in elicit detail the gastronomic experience of Jonah in the stomach of a fish for three days. However, I wondered what the fish would have to say when it grew up to be a teacher in a school of fish.


I really don’t make a habit of drawing cartoons in church. But when the sermon goes visual, I can’t help but visualizing.

$250,000 tax write off

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

If the president can do it, so can I (with a little help from Photoshop). I sent this letter to the pastor of our church:

Dear Pastor Jim,
I submit this publicity photo of an Air Force One flyover as a donation to Kootenai Community Church. Please return a letter of receipt so that I may claim a few hundred thousand dollars on my 2009 tax return. It was only by grace that I was able to
be in the right place at the right time as our Commander in Chief was landing at the Sandpoint Airport.

In His Service,
Thomas Leo


I’m Rich!!!

No worries, I’m an orphan

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009


(Begin bleeding-heart voice) “Don’t worry about me, I don’t mind sleeping on potting soil. I just appreciate having a warm window to sleep in. In the orphanage, we didn’t get to see the sun or know it’s warmth. I’m just glad that I don’t have to sleep on the floor anymore.”

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Who would have though that pine trees have pollen? Flowers have pollen. Not trees. Or so we thought! When you live in a pine forest, spring brings the love dust of pine trees into your home, car, and every horizontal surface. This year has brought an extra dose. So, if you’re visiting your country friends and notice a yellowish dust all over everything, don’t judge their house keeping skills too harshly. It’s impossible to keep this stuff out of the house. Here’s a table that was cleaned just a week ago.


Hoodoo mountain

Monday, June 1st, 2009

The Hoodoo mountain is one of the highest peaks you can see when ATVing behind our house. It has been calling to me since last year. During the winter I found the trail head but at that time there was 6 feet of snow on top. I’ve been plotting and scheming for months and yesterday a friend and I did a recon mission. After 40 miles of riding we hadn’t covered but about 50% of it. Below is not a panorama shot. It’s a regular picture that shows how wide a scope you can see from the hight of the mountain. You’re definately looking at mountains in Washington and behind us, you can see mountains in Montana.


1 – 2 -3 Rafting

Monday, June 1st, 2009

1) Our first time on the Moyie River
2) Our second time white water rafting
3) Level 3 rapids are our limit.

We survived white water rafting down the Moyie River. The snow-melt has swelled the river to it’s peak and the flow is at 3800 gallons per second (a lot of water moving rally fast). The Moyie season only lasts a few weeks and we’d been planning on jumping in since our first rafting experience last year. There was no chance of taking pictures on the raft without drenching the camera but below is a shot of a bunch of happy rafters. It was expensive, exciting and dangerous. No harm, no foul so we’re happy.


Vacation Suggestion: Late May of 2010 for some rafting excitement! 

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Family Reunion, minus the house. We were invited to a pot-luck dinner at our ‘soon to be’ new neighbors (I use the term loosely because they’re about a mile away but anyone in Cocolalla is a neighbor in my book). Linda and Randy bought the land last year and for some, putting up a house might have been next. But why bother? Why not have a family reunion instead? Sure, you can simply turn the land into a camp ground. From across the country and Canada they came with campers, tents, tables, BBQ, family, and a whole heap of hospitality.



Personal note to Randy & Linda; We had a blast and your family is great. We can’t wait have you over to our place where the toilets flush and everything! You’re both in our prayers. Be blessed.

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Monday, June 1st, 2009

It’s getting harder to find OOSTL lately. I’m worried that I’m becoming used to the my small town surroundings and therefore blinded to all the fun quirks. Today’s entry is about trees. In the burbs of Chicago the there are lots of trees, but most were planted by home owners and are puny compared to sky scrapers we enjoy here in nowhere-ville.


Talache falls

Monday, June 1st, 2009

I went to visit an old friend on my ATV. It’s springtime and she waits for visitors in the wood at the bottom of a mountain. As long as the snow melts, she’s there. Greetings from Talache falls (probably not her real name). Come visit in spring and I’ll be happy to introduce you to her.