Tag: Idaho

Harvest Day in the Corn Patch

Harvest Day in the Corn Patch


We have been helping our neighbor with his corn patch for the past couple of years, and this year the corn looked tremendous- tall and healthy despite the strange weather we have had this year. There was a lot of cool, rainy weather followed by above-average temperatures, then more cool… Idaho is famous for having unpredictable weather, but this summer has been the whopper of unpredictability.

Thursday was harvest day, and we were unhappily surprised by the results- despite the months of planting, watering, weeding and caring for the corn patch, we harvested a third of what we had expected. Sometimes things happen that are not what we expect. How we react when the unexpected happens is a measure of our personality. Can we see the ‘silver lining’* despite our disappointments?

I am happy to say that, though disappointed in the harvest, we enjoyed our harvest party- and enjoyed the fact that it only took two hours instead of the five or six that it took last year (there is one silver lining!). I also have no doubt that God will provide for us- we will have enough to eat without a freezer full of corn. This means we will have room in the freezer for other tasty foods (silver lining #2)!IMG_8997


The whole family gets involved in the corn harvest- Grandma and I  shuck the corn before the rest of the family show up.IMG_9004


Once the rest of the family arrives, a son boils the corn for just a minute to stop the ripening process.IMG_9005

The corn is then put in front of a fan to cool it quickly.

Even the young grandchildren are able to help. Here, Dante is counting the empty corn cobs to keep track of how many dozen we have grown.IMG_9007

Grandma had an accident a few years ago and is unable to do much, but the family is careful to include her so she feels useful. Her job is to write the year on the freezer bags. One of the grandchildren then helps her put a quart of corn in each bag

At the end of the evening, each member of the family takes home corn for the freezer. We appreciate the bounty of the earth, the space for a garden, the ability to grow a garden, and the water to keep it green. Yes, we were a bit disappointed in the amount, but there is so much to be grateful for!IMG_9030

Even the horses are happy today- the corn husks are a tasty treat!

The only unhappy creatures are the wild turkeys- their free corn supply has ended for the year. 🙂

Now that the corn is finished, it is time to harvest the apples again- make apple cider, apple cider vinegar, apple pies, dehydrated apples… and then the tomatoes, potatoes, beans and squash. What a blessing to have a garden and to be able to appreciate all we grow, throughout the coming winter. No matter how the price of food goes up because of strange weather patterns around the world, my family will eat healthy and well. I am truly thankful!



Corn Fritters
Author: Margo
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 patties
A tasty addition to breakfast, lunch or dinner!
  • Ingredients:
  • ⅓ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup flour (white or whole wheat)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup milk (I use non fat)
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • Vegetable oil
  1. Instructions:
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Add milk and chopped parsley, and mix together with a wooden spoon until thick and thoroughly mixed through.
  4. Add the cooked corn (boiled or grilled) and mix well with the flour mixture.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan.
  6. Using a ⅓ cup measuring cup, scoop corn mixture out and place into the skillet, gently
  7. pressing the mound down so it’s flattened.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes on one side, or until it’s browned, turn it over and cook another 5 minutes, or until it’s browned.
  9. Serve immediately with sour cream

Corrn patties blog post



















*A silver lining is a metaphor for optimism in the common English-language idiom “Every cloud has a silver lining.” ex: “The silver lining to not harvesting much corn is that we will have room in the freezer for more ice cream!”


Look up!

Look up!

Quick! Without looking, what does the sky look like right now?  Are there any clouds? I asked this question of 10 people- and only one could tell me that they had looked at the sky today. Looking at the sky has the power to soothe the soul, and there are so many people who miss out. Look up!

Back in 1985 I read an article about Jack Borden and his desire to get people to really look at the sky and see it’s beauty. Before reading that article, I had never really looked at the sky- I could not have told you if there were clouds or clear skies without first walking outside and looking up. I am not sure what it was that touched me in that article so many years ago, but for the past 30 years I have loved the sky- everywhere I have roamed.

Someone asked me last week how I deal with stress. I couldn’t think of an answer then, but after thinking about it, I have the answer – I relieve stress by doing something that has become so natural, that I do not even realize I have reduced my stress: I look at the sky. Just the act of looking up and becoming aware of the vastness above me drains the stress right out of me and changes my thoughts to a more positive outlook. If ever I had a day with nothing to do, I would lie on my back and watch the sky (in between naps), and take pictures of the clouds.

Most of the following photos were taken with my cell phone- just imagine how beautiful they would be with a good camera and some filters!

Americans go on vacation in order to ‘be part of nature’, to feel the vastness of the cosmos, and, as Jack Borden (“Sky Man”) puts it: get a “feeling of exultation,” and a “communion with nature.”  For those of us who cannot go on vacations, we don’t need a change of place, we just need a change of eyes.IMG_1071


In his book Look at the Sky! Eric Sloane wrote: “I believe that the sky was created for pure beholding; that one of men’s greatest joys can be simply looking at the sky.” 20150607_083034















“Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”  Henry David Thoreau

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
Rachel Carson, The Sense of WonderIMG_0611

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year.”
Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder20150530_131525

Wherever you are, the sky is above you.

To study the sky takes no elaborate field trips, or costly equipment. Begin by just becoming aware. Look up 3 times a day, and note what you see. Take a few photos of the sky and set a sky photo as your home screen on your phone and computer- and change them often.  Look at the moon each night and really see the phases of the moon as it grows and diminishes through the month. Watch a bird fly, and notice the contrails of airplanes. Find forms in the clouds- does that cloud above you look like a dragon or a running child? Stand still and open yourself to the miracle that is the sky!20140630_063845


For the Beauty of the Earth.

  • For the beauty of the earth,
    For the beauty of the skies,
    For the love which from our birth
    Over and around us lies,
    Lord of all, to thee we raise                                This our hymn of grateful praise.
  • 20130829_070015





For the beauty of each hour

  • Of the day and of the night,
    Hill and vale, and tree and flow’r,

    Sun and moon, and stars of light,

    Lord of all, to thee we raise
    This our hymn of grateful praise.
  • 20150403_213230


  • For the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child,
    Friends on earth, and friends above, For all gentle thoughts and mild,
    Lord of all, to thee we raise
    This our hymn of grateful praise.

And that’s not all. Sometimes the sky brings challenges… and hope:


The following links were sent to me by Jack Borden.

  1. I have never read or heard someone articulate the way I feel about scenery before reading this essay. It was good that I was reading alone- I could not help but exclaim “Yes, exactly!” many times over!  This is an essay that should be required reading material for parents and teachers everywhere 🙂   Thomas Cole, “Essay on American Scenery” From: The American Monthly Magazine 1 (January 1836)    http://www.tc.umn.edu/~danp/rhet8520/winter99/cole.html
  2. The Soul of All Scenery: A History of the Sky in Art, by Professor Stanley David GedzelmanDepartment of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, City College of New York.   http://www.sci.ccny.cuny.edu/~stan/skyart.html  In this E-book, you will read about the sky in art, from before it appeared to the role of the science and mathematics which have transformed the art world.
  3. And finally, a blog post about starting your own business. What does that have to do with the sky? Only the last paragraph: “Seventy-five percent of people report that negative thinking goes away if you look toward the sky. So for those would-be entrepreneurs trying to fend off negative thinking, Fannin says: “Chin up.”

Have you looked at the sky today? What did you see? Does looking up help you handle stress? Send me a photo of your sky!

3 Cadets and a Good Man… 3 Кадета и Хороший Человек…

3 Cadets and a Good Man… 3 Кадета и Хороший Человек…

Since my accident and after a 3 month ‘leave of absence’ to recuperate, I have been working in the fitting-room, a podium from which I answer and forward all the phone calls made to the store (about 60 per hour), pass messages between management and associates, prepare all the returned clothing to be put back on the shelf, help customers with questions, and provide rooms for customers who wish to try on clothing before buying. Truthfully, it is not my favorite place to work in the store- it is like walking into an endless pile of laundry each day, never being able to get it completed before the next endless pile is deposited beside the first. However, I am grateful for it. My arm

images Fort Hall in Idahohas not fully recovered and I am still unable to lift boxes or pull pallets as I need to do to return to my previous position, so this is one of very few jobs available in the store that the management could find for me to allow me return to work. After 3 months on leave-of-absence, both my personal hours and vacation hours had been used up, as well as almost all my savings. Getting back to work was critical for our family finances. So, “Thank-you-for-calling-Chubbuck-Walmart-How-may-I-help-you?” is my most frequent phrase these days. После приключившегося со мной несчастного случая и вынужденного трёхмесячного отсутствия, необходимого для восстановления, я теперь работаю продавцом-консультантом в примерочной, где мне доводится отвечать на вызовы, их перенаправлять (всего таких за час набегает до 60), передавать указания руководства коллективу, складывать одежду, которую вернули, для дальнейшей её транспортировки на полки, помогаю покупателям, отвечаю на их вопросы, показываю им, где находятся примерочные. Честно говоря, это не самоё моё любимое рабочее место в магазине, это как если бы вам каждый день давали стирать непомерную загрузку белья, а вы не успевали, и вам тут же давали следующую.  Однако знаете, я благодарна за предоставление мне такой возможности. Моя рука ещё не до конца зажила, я всё ещё не могу поднимать упаковки и таскать поддоны, чтобы вернуться на своё прежнее рабочее место. Так что эта работа  – одна из немногих возможных в магазине, которую мне предложило руководство, что позволяет мне вернуться к работе. После вынужденного трёхмесячного отсутствия у меня не осталось ни отгулов, ни положенного отпуска, как и не осталось никаких сбережений. Моё возвращение на работу имело решающее значение для финансового благополучия нашей семьи. Так, в последнее время, фраза: «Спасибо за Ваш звонок, Chubbuck-Walmart, чем могу помочь?» (название: Chubbuck – региона, Walmart – магазина – прим. переводчика) стала для меня самой употребляемой.

Today a Native American man brought three 14 year old boys over to the fitting rooms. After a several rounds of trying on pants, the boys each chose a pair of navy-blue work pants to go with their official fire-fighting cadet t-shirt and heavy leather work boots. Сегодня коренной американец привёл троих своих 14-летних сыновей к нам в магазин. После многочисленных примерок мальчики подобрали себе штаны тёмно-синего цвет (цвета формы морских офицеров), которые подходили к их парадным футболкам, которые носят пожарные кадеты, и тяжёлым кожаным рабочим ботинкам.

ems_1 fire department
Fort Hall EMS Fire Department

As the other boys were taking their turn trying on pants, the very polite and respectful young son of the man accompanying them explained to me that they were cadets in the Shoshone-Bannock Indian Reservation fire department. He told me about climbing the  fire-ladder that afternoon- he was still a bit nervous about it, but knew he would get accustomed to being up that high and continuing to climb even when the ladder swayed high in the air. Пока другие мальчики были в примерочной, перебирая штаны, самый почтительный и вежливый из них (сыновей того человека, который пришёл с ними) объяснил мне, что они кадеты отделения пожарной охраны резервации индейцев Шошони-Бэннок. Он рассказывал мне о том, как взбирался по пожарной лестнице сегодня днём, он всё ещё был взволнован, но знал, что привыкнет к такой высоте, и будет продолжать взбираться, даже если лестницу раскачает в воздухе.

His father, their team leader and a fire fighter in the reservation fire department, told me about the difficulties the boys faced on the reservation, where many of the young people turn to alcohol and drugs early in their lives because of poor role models and because there are few positive things for young people to do on the reservation. Его отец, руководитель их группы и пожарник в отделении пожарной охраны резервации, рассказал мне о трудностях, с которыми сталкиваются мальчики в резервации, где молодежь легко попадает под влияние алкоголя и наркотиков с ранних лет, подражая взрослым, не находя других способов проводить время.

He had had the opportunity to be involved in a cadet team when he was young, and it had changed his life. His hope was that these boys-and hopefully many more if they could get funding- would see and experience things while cadets that would give them focus in their lives, and perhaps keep them from turning to drugs and alcohol. Когда он был молод, ему посчастливилось стать одним из кадетов, и это изменило его жизнь. Он надеется, что эти мальчики, как и многие другие, если организация получит достаточное обеспечение, во время кадетства пройдут через вещи, которые помогут им обрести цель в жизни и уберегут от алкоголя и наркотиков.  

Freeway sign

As the little group walked away, the son thanked me and wished me a nice day. A good man, his father took them up and paid for the clothing with his own money- determined to do whatever it took to give these boys a chance to be successful. I did not have the opportunity to take a photograph of this small group and I wish I had had the opportunity- they epitomized all that was good and hopeful for our neighbors on the reservation. Настало время прощаться с маленькой группой, сын отблагодарил меня  и пожелал мне хорошего дня. Уходя, его отец, хороший человек, заплатил за одежду из собственного кошелька – он был готов пойти на всё, чтобы дать этим мальчикам шанс стать успешными в жизни. Жаль, что я не смогла сфотографировать эту маленькую группу, они – квинтэссенция  всего хорошего и вселяющего надежду, что есть у наших соседей в резервации.


images Fort Hall Police
Fort Hall Policeman on Duty


Read More about the Shoshone Bannock Tribes: Узнать больше об индейцах племени Шошони-Баннок: прочитайте больше


images reservation view
The Town of Fort Hall
images Justice Center
The Fort Hall Justice Center









What do you think of this man, this father who is willing to give his time and money to help youth? Did you experience the good influence of an adult that made a difference in your life, when you were a teenager?  Что вы думаете об этом человеке? Об отце, который не жалеет времени и денег, чтобы помочь молодёжи? Был ли у вас такой случай, когда взрослый человек изменил вашу жизнь в лучшую сторону, когда вы были в подростковом возрасте?

The Privilege of Abundance

The Privilege of Abundance

Ajak Magot is a student at ISU- Idaho State University,  in Pocatello, Idaho. He came to the USA as a refugee from Africa. Our local newspaper, The Idaho State Journal, has an article in it today that talks about Ajak’s experience with food. Аджак Магот – студент Университета Штата Айдахо в Покателло. Он приехал в США, как беженец из Африки. Наша местная газета  Газета Штата Айдахо напечатала статью в сегодняшняшнем номере, в которой говорится об опыте Аджака с едой.


He said that while he was a refugee in Africa, the United Nations (UN) gave his family a 45-kilogram bag of food that had to last a month. It was not enough for the family so they ate once each day, at noon. He now lives in the dormitory on the campus of ISU, and eats in Turner Hall: an all-you-can-eat campus cafeteria for students. He explained that he sometimes feels guilty as he looks at his abundant food when he remembers those that do not have enough to eat.Он сказал, что когда он был беженцем в Африке, Объединенные Нации дали его семье 45ти килограммовый мешок еды, которого хватило на месяц. Этого было не достаточно для его семьи, поэтому они ели только раз в день в обед. Сейчас он живет в общежитии университетского городка и кушает в кафетерии университета по программе для студентов, где можно есть в неограниченном количестве.Он объясняет, что иногда ему стыдно, когда он смотрит на изобилие еды, и думает о тех, кому не хватает еды.allyoucaneatstory

I was thinking about that article this afternoon as I sat down to my lunch. I often forget to be grateful for all the privileges and abundance that we have.  Я думала об этой статье сегодня, когда я садилась за стол обедать. Я часто забываю быть благодарной за все привилегии и изобилие, которое у меня есть. Lunch Today: Avocado sandwich and soup

Although there are times when I worry about money and wish I could afford one thing or another, in my 57 years of life I have never gone hungry, nor worried about where my next meal would come from. I have never gone without a home or a comfortable bed to sleep in. I have never been without a job when I needed one, and I have always had what I needed (although not always what I wanted). My family is healthy and safe. According to a news article that I read last week, even with the little that I have, I am better off financially than 90% of the world.  И хотя иногда я переживаю о деньгах и хочу позволить себе купить одну вещь или другую, за 57 лет моей жизни я никогда не ходила голодной, и никогда не переживала от том откуда появится следующая порция еды. Я никогда не была без дома или удобной кровати. Я никогда не была без работы, когда она мне была нужна, и у меня всегда было то, что мне было нужно (хотя не всегда что я бы хотела). Моя семья здорова и в безопасности. Согласно той статье, которую я прочитала на прошлой неделе, даже с тем малым, что есть у меня, я нахожусь в на много более выгодном положении финансово, чем 90% людей в мире.

My ‘wealth’ is a combination of genetics, family background, good fortune, attitude, and blessings. Along with my attitude-of-gratitude for my many blessings, I have an obligation to pass them along whenever I can.  “Where much is given, much is expected.”   Мое “богатство” – это смесь гинетики, положения моей семьи, удачи, отношения к этому и благословений. Вместе с моей благодарностью за все многочисленные благословения у меня есть обязанность передавать их дальше всегда когда возможно. “Кому много дано, от того многое ожидается”. BecauseihavebeengivenmuchItoomustgive

Saying “Thank you” is good. Passing compassion and blessings along is so much better. My goal is to make life better for at least one person every day. Горовить “спасибо” – хорошо. А передавать сострадание и благословения дальше, на много лучше. Моя цель – это сделать жизнь лучше хотя бы для одного человека каждый день.



What do you do to make things better for others? Have you ever been in a situation where you had an abundance and felt guilty for not sharing it?