Faith + Hope

Richie recently stopped over in Copenhagen after a quick business trip to Germany.

And, as usual, first thing I did was check his blog to see if he’s posted updates. ( And he has!

I love the way he writes because it makes me feel like I’m there. And he has a sense of what’s important to focus on that might seem quirky to some, but to me his logic makes perfect sense! 🙂

Anyway, one of the things he commented on and took a picture of intrigued me:


There was a Catholic church with an art installation with a complicated set of balances and different values and emotions on them.

People signed stones and put them on the balance of their choice. “HOPE” was in a slight lead over “FAITH” for the overall lead (lowest sitting plate).

Made me start wondering, what word would I put a stone on?




  • complete trust or confidence in some or something.
  • strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.


  •  feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
  • a feeling of trust.

I was pondering which word I would choose:

FAITH is complete trust.

HOPE is feelings of expectation and trust.

As I was pondering about the differences between those two words, I searched for images to use.

I came across this:



Which made me surprised that “LOVE” wasn’t the most chosen word.


What’s in a (Wildfire’s) Name?

Ever wonder how wildfires are named?

fire-2I have. Here’s a few of the active fires listed on Inciweb for Idaho right now: Scurvy Mountain Wildfire, Woodrat Fire, Blue Fire.

A while back there was a fire in northern Idaho called the Not Creative Fire.  Really! Here it is on Inciweb.

That’s the most unique name I’ve ever heard of and I wondered how the fire came to get that name.

Thanks to Carol catching a blurb on NPR, here’s an explanation…



Here in this country, we are tracking some major wildfires that are burning across the American West. And we’re also tracking their names. Firefighters give names to the flames they fight, such as Blankenship, Bald Knob, Soda and Scotchmans Gulch.


A bit unusual, which made us wonder, how do wildfires get their names?

GREENE: We put that question to Betsy Haynes. She’s usually a national park ranger in Virginia. But this summer, she has been spending time helping fight those fires out west.

BETSY HAYNES: Most of the time, they’re named for their origin, for the area they are in.

INSKEEP: You know, like lakes or mountains or roads or towns or counties. Those are all fodder for wildfire names.

HAYNES: Just looking at the situation report for this morning, there’s Chelan Complex for Washington state. There’s one called Tepee Mountain, Youngs Creek. There’s even one named the Horse, the Cougar, the Bobcat right now.


GREENE: But this summer, there have been so many wildfires, Haynes says officials have had moments where they can’t keep up.

HAYNES: Well, something crazy happened a week or two ago. There was one named the Not Creative.

INSKEEP: The Not Creative fire in southeast (actually northern) Idaho. After being called out to the state’s 57th fire of the season, the responders who were first on the scene just couldn’t come up with a name.

GREENE: At least not a creative name, so they went with Not Creative. Emily Callihan from the Idaho Department of Land told us this was understandable. It was after a long day working on the dozens of fires already burning, and there were no easy landmarks.

HAYNES: Fire managers needed to start an initial attack on the fire. And because the fire needs to have an identifier, a name, they needed to have a name identified so dispatch knew where to send those resources so they could get the fire under control.

INSKEEP: We are happy to report that the Not Creative fire is now completely out. And by the way, that’s actually kind of a creative name in a big way, to say that you’re not feeling creative and call it the Not Creative Fire. Anyway, it’s out. But there are still 76 fires burning in the western United States, such as the Rouge Fire, Mad River Complex, Solitude, Buck Horn, Lawyer Complex and more.


Nature Rx

Spied this on Facebook.*

It’s a gentle reminder to get out of our heads and go outside once in a while… 🙂


Nature Rx brings us a spoof of a prescription drug commercial that’s too funny because it’s painfully true.

Sometimes the best medicine can be simply turning off the screen and going outdoors.

What are you waiting for? Try nature today!

There’s actually more to this than a simple spoof. If you’re interested in learning more, check out


* Thanks, Lorraine! 🙂

Bread from Heaven

Carol posted this a little over a year ago on Facebook…

CarolBreadAnd I’m such a fan of fresh baked bread that I’ve wanted to try it ever since.

But I couldn’t do it while living in Homer because we didn’t have a regular over. And we’ve been crazy busy with ‘life’ and moving in over the last few months.

Finally, I ordered the special Dutch Oven that Carol recommended for the bread earlier this week.

PanIt came yesterday, so I searched for Carol’s recipe and tried the bread.

Here’s the link to the recipe: Simply So Good | Crusty Bread.

Words fail me…

I can’t even begin to describe how good this bread is. And how easy it is to make. I didn’t even stop to take pictures after I pulled it out of the oven. We just cut in and ate some…

Felt like I’d died and gone to bread-eating heaven. Amazing!

The great thing about this recipe and method is that bakers can add lots of different ingredients and the bread still turns out. I can’t wait to add some whole grains and dried cranberries or rosemary and roasted garlic. Yummy!


My house smelled so good that I keep going outside every so often so that I can come back in and smell the bread anew. 🙂

Here’s wonderful video from the Simply So Good site showing how to make the bread. Enjoy…

PS THANKS, CAROL! And Rich thanks you, too!

Burning Man

Burning Man is a week-long annual event that began in San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986 and migrated to the Black Rock Desert near Reno in northern Nevada, in the United States.

It’s hard to describe both in terms of what it is and how the experience affects people. Burners travel to it from all over the world. It’s an amazing experience to those of us who have been.

My favorite part of the Burning Man experience?  Fire Poi Dancers.

My least favorite thing?  Playa dust storms.


Here is a article about it that highlights parts of the Burning Man experience. (Thanks to Andrea for posting it on Facebook. 🙂 )

12 Things you Need to Experience at Burning Man 

Love it or hate it, Burning Man does provide some of the most unique experiences you can find on the globe – there isn’t really an argument for that.

A couple weeks back, we wrote a sarcastic piece about why people should not go to Burning Man. While the sarcasm was lost on some who take the whole event a bit too seriously, the bottom line is that we love Burning Man.

But instead of telling people why they should go, we figured it would be more effective to tell you what specifically you may love if you go. Everyone has to find their own way at Burning Man, so plenty of things on this list may not apply to you, but these are experiences we have had and will remember forever. Plus, how do you really know if they apply to you unless you actually give them a shot?

Isn’t that the whole point of Burning Man?

Spend an afternoon exploring the Playa endlessly on your bike


So many people get stuck dancing, drinking and partying at Burning Man that they forget what makes this place so special: the art and the surprises. The best way to experience this is to grab a few friends – or even just solo – and just look far out onto the horizon, point at something and ride to it. It’s truly unbelievable what you will encounter out there and the effort these artists put into creating something that only lasts a week. Half the fun is the random sights you run into along the way. The other half is guessing what that is 500 yards off in the distance – and finding out you were completely wrong when you arrive.

Enjoy random conversations with strangers


Yes, the art and the parties are a huge part of the Burning Man experience. But without the crazy and wonderful people who build Black Rock City and fill it up, this would just be a festival in the desert. There truly are the weirdest, kindest and most amazing people – from all over the world and all walks of life – you encounter in your time on the Playa. Take the time to engage in some conversations and enjoy the experience of learning about and from other people. Those new friends you make are what you remember most.

Climb all over stuff


Burning Man isn’t your average art show. No, this is a true adult playground where unless there is a sign or a rope saying otherwise, you are free – and encouraged at your own risk – to climb on anything you want. Whether it’s a tower in the middle of nowhere with an amazing view at the top, a giant hammock on the Playa or the inside of a huge scuplture, get off your bike and be a kid again.

Experience the Dr. Bronner’s shower


Showering on the Playa can be a challenge, especially depending on your camp situation or if you’re not a tech billionaire. But there is a solution to get cleaned up – as long as you don’t mind doing it with a few new friends. The ‘Magic Foam Experience’ at Camp Abraxas (4&G) will shoot a bunch of Dr. Bronner’s foam all over you, let you scrub up and then rinse you off. It might be the most refreshing experience out there. Lines do get long though, so be prepared to wait a bit.

Pay your respects in the Temple


The Temple is an annual display of love, devotion and remembrance, but it’s also filled with a lot of sadness. Any place where so many people come to honor their lost ones is going to have tears. But Burning Man isn’t just about partying. It’s about love, relationships and reflection. Some people are intimidated to go into the Temple, but it’s a must-do. It’s one place on the Playa where there is total peace and tranquility and it’s cathartic to have a good cry. Plus, we have all experienced some kind of loss in our lives and this is a spot like no other where we can honor those that we miss.

Dance your ass off at Pink Mammoth or Distrikt


It’s hard to miss two of the city’s best daily dance parties. Distrikt for its huge fog horn that blasts off intermittently during the afternoon and Pink Mammoth for its unmissable, bright pink shade structure and bar. Cold drinks are flowing non-stop throughtout the day, which is unbeatable in the desert heat. But if you came to party, you’ll find thousands of like-minded friends – and some of the best DJs in the world – at these two camps. Tip: Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream set on Sunday afternoon is always a perfect way to wrap your week.

Walk around the Playa at night


This may sound elementary, but until you have done it, you won’t know why it’s so cool. Most of the time, when you are getting around Black Rock City, you are riding your bike and have to – somewhat – keep your eyes on the path in front of you. But when you ditch your bike and just go for a walk at night, you can truly – and safely – take in all the sights and craziness going on around you. Crane your head in any direction you want, stop whenever you want and take your time without fear of a wipeout. Burning Man at night is a sight to behold, so make sure you take it in.

Stop into a random bar


How many times do you just go to the same spots to party or dance or drink or visit friends during the week? It’s easy to forget that there is so much going on around us, most of which we completely miss. So when you are cruising around on your bike, instead of just looking at that bar and wondering how it is, pull over and grab a seat for some free drinks – you’ll be amazed the stories you hear and the things you see. Where else can you do that without ever spending a dollar?

Have some alone time


There are 68,000 people at Burning Man in a pretty tightly-packed area. It’s a lot to deal with for even the most social person. Because there is so much going on and so many friends to keep up with, it’s a challenge to grab some moments for yourself to take it all in and reflect. Whether that be walking away from the dance floor at Robot Heart and laying on your back in the middle of the pitch black desert or taking a bike ride by yourself or sitting on top of a bus and watching the sunrise, other than your trips to the toilets, make time for you.

Ride an art car


This is one of the few places on Earth where you will see the most ridiculous mutant vehicles (or art cars) cruising all over the place in front of you. Yeah, they are cool to look at, but they are even better to ride on. Whether you know someone who built one or you ask to jump on a random one that you encounter on the Playa, make it happen. It’s something you likely will never be able to experience anywhere else.

Watch the sunrise at Robot Heart


There is a reason Robot Heart has become world famous. Sure, the world-class DJ lineups are insane and create some unforgettable moments. But what’s more special and will forever remain etched in your brain is when the Robot Heart bus is parked way out on the Deep Playa and the sun starts to creep over the horizon. Many of the thousands walk from the dance floor over for a front row seat on the dry desert lakebed to pay homage to the blazing ball of fire that keeps this world living. The best part is whoever is DJing at that moment always has something special in store for the sunrise. Truly monumental.

Go out of your way to give


Much is made of the “gifting” system at Burning Man. Yes, there is no money exchanged there for drinks, food or services, but you don’t necessarily need to have something to give away to everyone to take part in this concept. We all have something to give, whether it’s a hug, a conversation, advice, a drink, a tool or a ride. And whether it’s for complete strangers, a ranger or people in your camp, step out of society’s normal comfort zone and give without any expectation. The simplest thing can make someone else’s experience complete.

The Family Dog

Whenever I’m in need of a good belly laugh, I watch The Family Dog.

It first aired in an Amazing Stories episode in 1987.

I can still remember the first time I saw it. It was at the movie theater in Fallon and was shown before the movie. I’ve never laughed so hard in all my life. Ever.

It’s a little over 20 minutes long, but it’s well worth it.


Conspiracy Theory

I am convinced there is governmental conspiracy that determines how weather forecasts are presented to the public.


This conspiracy doesn’t affect forecasts all year.  It happens most in summer and winter.

Take a look at the long range forecast for our city:


Notice how the next five days have highs in the 90s and the following six days have highs in the 80s.

When it’s been as sweltering hot as it has this August, I’m convinced that the government forces weatherpeople to put fictitious highs in for future days so that we all don’t go stark raving mad because it’s really going to be at least 95o for the next 10 to 15 days.

Each time I look at the above forecast I think, “I can make it five days. THEN IT WILL BE COOLER. LOTS COOLER!”

But here’s the deal…

If I wait three or four days and then check the forecast again just to make sure that those 80s are still in there, the forecast will have been changed so that those 80s are STILL at least FIVE days away.

Here’s a random image I found when looking for an image to convey “Cooler Temperatures”.  Look at the highs. Five days of 90s followed by some 80s  for some place in West Virginia over the 4th of July. See it’s not only on the West Coast! It’s nationwide!!!!!


Think I’m crazy?

Watch your own forecast during either a cold spell in winter or a hot streak in summer…

You’ll see that I’m right! There is a governmental conspiracy at work!


Four Miles of Love

This is one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever heard…

From NBC News:

A man is paying tribute to his late wife with a stunning field of sunflowers that lines a highway 4½ miles.

The seeds will be harvested and sold to help support families with cancer and other illnesses.


To really experience how MANY sunflowers there are, go to the Babbette’s Seeds of Hope Web site and watch their videos.

Babbette’s husband chose the best flower to symbolize Babbette and his love for her:

Sunflowers symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity. Much of the meaning of sunflowers stems from its namesake, the sun itself. These flowers are unique in that they have the ability to provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrancy—attributes which mirror the sun and the energy provided by its heat and light.

Sunflowers are known for being “happy” flowers, making them the perfect gift to bring joy to someone’s (or your) day.

Creating a Walk-On’s Memory

I was listening to ESPN radio this morning and heard a great story about how Western Michigan’s football coach, P.J. Fleck, talk about how he surprised one of his walk-on players with the news that he was now a full scholarship player.

football_620x350Walk-on players are there because they love the game. They start with no athletic scholarships, and rarely do they get awarded one during the academic career.

So to get one is a very big deal.

I love how Fleck describes walk-ons: “These kids are our backbone. They’re the ones who row the boat more than anyone else.”

Fleck is the youngest coach in the FBS. His past includes working as a sixth-grade social studies teacher. He credits that time for teaching him how to understand people and manage his classroom. He also learned how to deliver the same message, but in many different ways so that each individual ‘got it’.

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Read the blurb and watch the video below to see how Coach Fleck made a memory for one (actually all) of his walk-ons (players)! 🙂


Fleck wrapped a scholarship note with a rubber band around a football to be used for an onside kick at practice, with running back Trevor Sweeney recovering the ball and being told to inspect it. The entire Broncos roster, in on the ploy, surrounded the 5-foot-8 Sweeney before he could even read the whole letter, lifting the junior up and down as he pointed to the sky and struggled to contain his emotions.

“He’s from Mattawan (Michigan), which is right down the street,” Fleck told “He’s probably the most popular kid on the team, and he’s a 4.0 kid and he plays. He’s full special-teamer for us. Just a kick-butt guy, tough as nails and a really good player.”

“These kids are our backbone,” Fleck added of walk-ons. “They’re the ones who row the boat more than anyone else.”