Archive for July, 2009

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Rumor had it that there’s a guy name Jesse up on Little Blacktail Mountain that has an amazing model railroad in his attic. Since my brother is addicted to trains, I figured he’d enjoy meeting this man and seeing his layout. Efforts to contact him by phone failed but it just so happened that we’d be passing his house on our way down the mountain after picking huckleberries. While he didn’t know us, and we had only heard of him, we went to the door and were invited in with hardly an introduction. Elsewhere, it would have taken a list of credentials and an appointment.

The layout was nothing short of amazing.


In the first image above, you can see Joey and Kimmy within the layout.


The gold train above was made from scratch out of brass. Every wheel, rivet, pipe, everything, was made by hand by Jesse. Below is a picture of some of the parts he uses for making these train engines. It can take in upwards of 400 hours to complete.


Ken, Sue, Joey, Kimmy… Insanity!

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Thursday, July 23, they arrived by train. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday were a blur of trains, ATV riding, Huckleberry picking, Sushi, model railroad, Museum train ride, horse back riding, beach, church, and very little sleep. I’m sure I forgot half of it. All in a normal vacation for Ken and family.


In the last image, you’ll see a man who has lived in the area for many years. His name is Jesse and we stopped by his house to see his model railroad.See next post.

And what trip to Idaho would be compete without a moose. On the last day, Kimmy and Ken got to see their first moose. The images below were taken of the moose shaped road block that prevented Ken and I from getting home.

Click above image to enlarge

The ends.

Cocolalla Lake Bible Camp

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Since being selected for the honor of serving on the board of a local camp, I’ve had the occasion to stop and enjoy the activities there. It reminds me of my tenure at Christian Family Camp in Wisconsin.

The Goal: Drag rubber chickens across the line while being drowned with water.

Jenny volunteered to work in the kitchen. 300 scrambled eggs and 200+ hot dogs later, lunch was over and so was her shift.

I was fascinated by the boat regatta (click images to enlarge). Teams were given cardboard, duct tape, cutters, and a plastic tarp and told to create a boat for the races that took place later that afternoon. All the boats floated (amazing). Some better than others.

In Memory of Paul Erasmo Leo

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

On July 4, 2009, my dad passed away. Our hope and prayers are that we will be united in heaven when we too are called home.



Mom and Lorraine visit

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Mom and Lor came for a visit. It was truly a whirl-wind of activity and visiting compared to our somewhat sedate schedules.


Here are a few things you might want to do when you come.

Sit and visit on top of a mountain.

Shoot a gun. It is Idaho after all. This is Lor’s first time shooting. Jenny and Mom were hiding back at the house.

Pretend you’re the star of the movie, Titanic.

Needless to say, you should bring your camera.

My $300 Mouse Trap

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Well, technically, it’s for catching ground squirrels. You might remember back in 2008 when I warned the world that these things were surely trouble. And to prove my point, here is a picture of a $300 mouse trap containing 1 squirrel.

ground squirrel
And so the story goes like this…

Sunday: With my sister Lorraine and mom visiting, Jenny drove to church earlier than the rest of us. When the four of us came out of church, we dutifully hopped into my car and went home. It was uneventful until we drove up to the house to find that we’d forgotten that Jenny had driven herself and now her car was back at church. No worries. We decided that we’ll pick up her car after dropping Lorraine and mom off at the airport on Monday morning.

Monday: The stress and rush to get to the airport began with the typical flurry of luggage, lists, rooms checked once, twice, and three times for good measure.  We pile into my car only to find that the car would not start. This car which has dutifully started every day for the last 3 years without so much as a hickup would crank and crank but never start. We all sat silently as the adrenalin began to pulse through our veins for fear that (depending on your perspective): A) We’ll never get home. How will we ever get home? We’re sick of our hosts, come on, START! Will we be stuck in Idaho forever? B) How can this happen? We have to get rid of these people. My gosh, they can’t be stuck in Idaho forever, come on, START! C) I can’t believe I forgot my car at church. Thomas is going to kill me. More important, how can we get rid of these people, come on, START!

Plan B: I called a good friend, Ron. Gave him the “need to know” info (because he’s a guy and doesn’t need the details thank God) and asked if we could borrow his car.  Jenny and I jumped into the Rhino. Jenny got the ride of her life on our way to pick up the borrowed car and got Mom and Lorraine to the airport safely. We even had enough time to grab a nice lunch. Thanks for lunch Mom!

A call to a friend who runs a mechanic’s shop resulted in some failed over the phone triage. No luck. The car gets towed into his shop.

Tuesday: “We found the problem” announces Doug, the mechanic, over the phone.  It appears that some kind of rodent had made a nest under the hood and as with other cars and rodents, they enjoy pink wires. Pink, like the ones that go to the fuel injectors on a 2006 Chevy Trailblazer!!! Total damage, 6 inches of wire.
Friday: Shopping at the Co-op I found a nice Have-A-Heart squirrel trap. Yes, shooting the vermin is an option unless you’re married to Jenny. The things one has to sacrifice for the commitment of marriage.

Pictured above is the first of 4 ground squirrels caught in the first 48 hours of using my new $300 trap.  We (I really mean “I” but want everyone to think that Jenny is helping) then transport the “cute” little wire-cutters to a distant wildlife preservation area in town. Now that the population has been brought down a bit we’re hoping that there’s enough room in the existing nests to ward off further vandalism.

Total price including towing, diagnostics, repair and the trap: about $300!