Saturday, March 30, 2013

New Four Wheeling Trail

Quite by accident, we discovered a trail made for motorcycles and four wheelers today.  We were stopped by snow as we climbed in elevation, but we plan to come back.  I particularly want to come back because the trail connects with Oregon Gulch.  My grandfather had a mine in Upper Oregon Gulch.  Here's what my Dad had to say about it:

"That was about the extent of my mining except that we dug some shafts there at York.  We dug a well right out in front of the house there in Kingsberry.  Then, we walked over in upper Oregon Gulch.  They had a claim there.  We dug some shafts there.  It was while we were doing that that Mom found that shark’s tooth – over there.

Me:  Did she dig for that or was it just laying there?

Dad:  It was on an old mine dump. It was laying in on an old mine dump as I understand it.

Me:  One of the teachers that was interested in that [when Petunia brought it to school for a science project.  She]  wanted to know if she [Grandma] dug for that or if it was just laying there.

Dad:  I think it was laying on top of an old mine dump. But it was in Oregon Gulch. There’s no road goes exactly to it. I know how to get over there.  I don’t know.  They might have it fenced, so you’d have to go over and walk up.  We used to be able to drive over to the edge and just walk down to the claim there, not very far."

View from trail on ridge

Just after the snow melts, web-like fibers appear at the edge.  I would like to know why.

The drift that stopped us.

Modern Medicine

When I have dealings with the medical community the following thought often runs through my little brain, “I am dealing with a lunatic.” 

This thought has romped through my mind when I have sat in the doctor’s office, the naturopath's office, the x-ray department, and at the hospital.
Scene 1
At the “imaging” place of business.  I have just been called in for a follow up mammogram because they saw SOMETHING on my mammogram.

X ray Tech:  See this little mark here on the mammogram?  That hasn't been there before.  That's why we need a follow up mammogram.

Me:  See this mole?

X ray Tech:  Oh!  (Realizes she didn't see it until I pointed it out.)   Well, no.  I don‘t think that is it. What we saw was lower in the picture. 

X Ray Tech puts a marker on the mole so it will show up on the “image.”

Me (thinking):  Oh that’s right!  Every other time I've had a mammogram, they have put one or two of those markers on me.  This time the Tech didn't put any markers on.  Of course, this room is so dark, she probably couldn't see a flesh colored mole.  Sure makes a lot of sense to keep your Mammogram room so dark that the Tech can’t see if she needs to mark anything.

X Ray Tech (lining me up in the machine):   Oh that mole does line up with the spot when you are in the equipment!  I bet it was the mole we saw in the picture! 

Tech proceeds to shoot three more pictures ordered by the doctor anyway.  Then she has the Doc look at the images online.  He pronounces all to be fine and directs me to come back in a year for another shot of radiation to my chest.

Me (thinking):  I am dealing with lunatics.  You will not see me here again.  I am done with radiation shots to my chest in the name of good health.  Yes, yes I know you told me currently 80% of women are get breast cancer, so mammograms are vital.  Anyone ever thought about checking up on the estrogen based birth control the medical profession hands out like candy as a cause of breast cancer?  Or how about years of radiation exposure from your Mammograms?  No! No! We cannot even consider those as causes!
Scene 2
I am at the OBGYN, eight months pregnant with Prudence.  All through the pregnancy, my iron has been lower than the medical pros would like.  After having the iron in prenatal vitamins give me diarrhea, I abandoned them.  My mother has been home the last month, and she has been cooking lots of roasts, which I, a young, married poor person, have been enjoying.

Doctor (looking at blood work):  Well, I see that iron is finally starting to kick in.

Me:  I haven’t been taking it.  It gives me diarrhea.

Doctor (menacing): Well, you better start taking it!

Me (thinking):  I am dealing with a lunatic.  I already told the doctors in this practice about my difficulty with iron.  There is no point in trying to tell him the facts of the situation.  I'm no good at arguments, and he doesn't want the facts to get in the way of his practicing medicine.

Scene 3
I have just had a baby at the hospital.  The nurse is putting sterile pads on me.  She drops one on the floor, picks it up, and starts for me.

Me:   You are going to put a pad on me that has been on the floor ? 
Me (thinking):  Hospitals, the place of infection control???  I am dealing with a lunatic.

I could write many more scenes, but this post is long enough.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Remembering Summer 2012

While cleaning up my pictures files, I stumbled across some pictures of our summer visitors that I had either forgotten about, or didn't know about.  What great memories of last summer.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

And Who Is this Person???

If you want to puzzle me, send me a U-Tube video and expect me to be impressed by the presenter’s remarks, simply because he/she is famous.  Unless a famous person is a pro football or pro basketball player, chances are I have no idea who that person is.   Wilbur keeps me updated on the names of pro sports players, but I don’t even know these unless they are REALLY good, e.g., LeBraun James, Brett Favre, Dennis Pitta, etc.

 As for movie stars, singers, TV actors and bands, anyone who became famous after 2000, is probably a nonentity to me.  You see, in 2000 my twins graduated High School.  The last movie star any of my girls brought to my notice was Brad Pitt. Being in my 40’s at the time, Brad Pitt bore a strong resemblance to an obnoxious boy in my eighth grade homeroom.  When memory erasing is invented, my entire eighth grade year will be the first memory to go.

If children have a responsibility to update parents on pop culture, my son Orville shirked his responsibility sadly.   Orville, graduated in 2004.  During high school, Orville mentioned a fabulous classical trumpet player, Charlotte Church, and an excellent guitarist and singer from Bozeman.  Being a guy pretty fly to the time of day, Orville probably knew having a conversation with me about a hip band or TV star would produce a “deer in the headlights” look at best.   He was too smart to attempt it.

Those who interest themselves in how the “beautiful people” vote, what causes they support, what beauty products they use, what diets they like, where they vacation, what they wear, and what productions they star in, baffle me.  I have zero clue as to why this information is interesting.  As far as changing my vote or sending money to a cause because Mary Movie-star endorses it, why are her opinions better than my friends’, neighbors’, or mine?

Anyone wanting to chat with me about the lives of any of the rich and famous will be sadly disappointed.  I have enough trouble living my own life well.  I don’t need to become informed about the lives of a bunch of people totally unrelated to me, even if they are distinguished by how well they photograph, sing, play, or act.

Unavoidably, I glance at tabloid headlines while waiting in checkout lines.  They indicate that the famous seem to switch partners more often than square dancers.  It’s a mystery to me how they keep up with their own current close connections.   How could I ever keep up? And why would I want to?  Sadly if I need drama, there is plenty in the ordinary lives of the ordinary people I know.  Just because someone is “famous,” their messy lives are no less tragic than the ordinary folks’. I've always preferred comedy to tragedy.

I do like to talk about my family, hiking, wild flowers, American History, camping trips, my religious beliefs, old family stories, what could be done to fix the world’s disintegrating values, and what is going on in my life and my friends’ lives.  Chances are, if the name appears in National Enquirer or in the newspaper’s column about the stars, that’s a yawner for me. 

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Idaho Farm Girl

Ione Thorpe 1947

R to L Little boy, Lucy Walker Thorpe, Athena, Thomas Thorpe, little boy, Ione, Preston

I enjoy talking to Grandma Latour on Sundays. Her life is so interesting! She was born on a farm in Pleasant View, Idaho, the second to the youngest of ten children. Probably because of cars being more prolific and dependable, this community has mostly vanished and is considered part of Malad, Idaho to all but the old timers.

Grandma has a high opinion of her dad. She said, "Dad was a busy guy. He was a wonderful guy. If anything new came out that would make Mother's life easier, Dad would buy it for her. Mom was the first person in Pleasant View to have a Bendix (automatic washing machine). Dad would take off work and help Mom on wash day. He was a farmer, so he could. Mom's health wasn't so good. Dad helped her every fall with the canning. He got the boys to help too. They would peel the peaches and pears."

Even though Grandma and Thad (grandma's younger brother)were the youngest children, her Dad found ways to spend time with her. "He read Thad and me the funny papers every night and kept me in stilts. I was always walking around on stilts." Grandma recalls.  "One day, Mom was gone and the bread had risen. Dad showed me how to make the bread dough into loaves."

For three years Dad was the Bishop. In those days, the Bishop's desk was in his home because there was no room at the church. He gave Thad and me drawers in the Bishop's desk. I remember helping him count the silver dollars paid in tithing. Joyce helped by typing the membership cards. Because of Mom's health, Dad resigned after three years."

Grandma also remembered tromping hay during haying. One day, they had a full load of hay and a snake slithered out from underneath the hay where grandma was tromping. Her Dad was jumped to the top of hay in a flash. She said it was hard to tell who was more frightened, her or the snake.

Since there was no TV, video games, computer, or all the other distractions that keep families disconnected from each other, Grandma and her siblings played cards at night and listened to the radio. Grandma and Thad's favorite radio show was Let's Pretend. It featured fairy tales. She and her brothers and sisters played card games too: Rummy and Steal the Pile. With all the boys, the play sometimes got wild. Grandma's Mom said if she could raise her family all over again it would be summer all year long, so she could send them outside. If the kids argued too much, Grandma's Mom would take the cards and toss them into the fire. Cards were not easy to come by, so they learned not to argue.

Grandma's Dad could be tough if need be. Once on a family trip to Yellowstone Park and man was wandering around suspiciously in the campsites. Grandma's Dad shined the flashlight in the miscreant's face until he took off.

I wish I had more scanned photos and stories about Grandma's family. They sounded so happy. They are good example of how families should behave towards each other. Thanks for sharing the stories, Ione!