Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Family's Coming!

Twin Lake & Sleeping Lady

Doug's parents will be visiting us for three weeks beginning Thursday. They had planned to come in July but because of a physical problem that his Dad had - it was delayed. We did not expect them to come now but we are glad they could. So, as many of us do when parent-in-law's come to visit, I was busy cleaning and straightening things up around here that normally get left for another day! I'm not going crazy about cleaning (as I have done in the past when Doug's parents come) but I did the refrigerator today. It was messy looking but it was not filled with smelly, scientific experiments! Don't you love those wonderful toss away food containers? I love those containers. Put the left-overs ("planned overs," Mom-in-law says) into them and if it spoils, just grab the whole thing and toss it! No smell, no fuss! I was spunky today and mowed the grass! I don't normally mow the grass. Hubby never wants me to. He says it's too hard for me, but I think he just likes to do it. Mowing the grass is okay for me to do as long as the ground is flat! We live on a bit of a hill so it can get tricky and hard for a "Grammaloo" to do. I didn't have to do it but it was so nice outside this afternoon and there was the mower just sitting there... I didn't do the whole yard just the places that are flat and are the first to be seen driving up to the house. There is a good chance the first impressions will be good! I also crawled around the yard today, cutting the long grass under and around the shrubs with plain ol' scissors. Doug's folks are traveling from Florida. Which reminds me of this great software that I downloaded and installed today too. It's called Google Earth! Oh my word, it is incredible. You can type in an address and it zooms right there! Satellite pictures. I am so impressed with it. Google Earth Download Site.(You will need Windows 2000 or XP to run the program.) Thanks to Doug for sharing that with me. I will try to post from Houston, Alaska during the next three weeks but if I don't, I hope you have a great three weeks!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Rainy Days & No Wildfires!

It's raining... It's pouring... I tried to find out what the original story for this little ditty was, but didn't find anything but a lot of grumpy people writing about endless rainy days. It's very wet here today...our Assistant Pastor Jim Eller told me in church today that he heard we are supposed to have flooding conditions in this area today. Yesterday, the smoke from wildfires somewhere else settled into this area, so the rain is good for cleaning that stinky out of the air. I don't mind the drip, drip, drip of rain. Maybe that is because I was born and grew up listening to it rain on Kodiak Island. It rains so much there. If you don't like rain, then don't move there... you might end up being a drip that writes grumpy blogs about the endless rain!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Brain Waves & Music

A thought crossed my mind while I was talking to my husband about how I enjoyed listening to the tune of the "Sounds of Silence". (I don't get tired of it.) I said to him, "It must fit my brainwaves real good." Which brought me to this subject. Do we tend to enjoy the music tempos that are compatible with the waves our brains are emitting? The only knowledge I have of brain activity is when I would hear, "He/she is brain dead" on t.v. shows. I have no idea how doctors determine that. My knowledge of brainwaves is lacking, so I decided to do some reading on it, specially brainwaves and music. Music can inspire us to jump into something wholeheartedly (like exercise) or to close our eyes and relax. Music can be healing. In the Old Testament, King Saul was temporarily healed by young David's musical ability. While he was King, Saul willfully disobeyed God and so went from being in right standing as God's chosen leader of Israel to being a very troubled man who had lost the favor of God. Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD.” But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.” I Samuel 15:24 - 26. When his mind was at its chaotic worst he would call for David to come and play his instrument to soothe his troubled mind. "And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him." I Samuel 16:23. Sometimes I like to listen to certain types of music and then other times that same music will irritate me. When (and if) I exercise I like to listen to something with a steady fast beat. Whiling reading, I don't pick music that invades my thoughts. When I am napping, soft and quiet is all that is acceptable. Each of these activities also have brain waves going on that are as different as the music I choose. There appears to be four categories of brain waves ranging from the most active to least active. Beta Waves - fully engaged in activity, 15 - 40 cycles a second. Alpha Waves - relaxing, 9 - 14 cycles a second. Theta Waves - daydreaming, 5 - 8 cycles a second. Delta Waves - sleeping, 1.5 - 4 cycles a second. I see that you can be in beta and still have alpha, theta and delta lurking in the background, or you can be in theta and still have beta and all the others popping in and out sort of like your predominant personality type. (Predominant personalities, that is a topic for another day!) I found so much information out there to read. I don't know how true any of it is but I do know that there is music that I have enjoyed and music that I don't like at all. I believe that it has a lot to do with my personality, enviroment and quite possibly a lot to do with brainwave activity at the moment. There are sites that promote using the brainwaves to heal, to go into a meditative state, to even grow hair back! There was talk of using it in New Age movement. That's stuff which I steer away from. I read that New Age has roots in astrology, channeling, tarot cards and many other teachings/ways God warns against dabbling in. In fact, Saul ended up going to a seer of some sort. I totally put my trust in the God of the Bible and have accepted His teaching that the only acceptable sacrifice that will make the Way back to Him possible, is Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. I am The Way... The Truth.... The Life, no man comes to the Father, but by me. (Jesus Christ) I think most of us realize that music is used by shopping malls to keep us serenely happy to be browsing in their stores. After making our purchases they lull us into accepting our major spending sprees by continuing to play ELEVATOR music in our ears as we go home! My conclusion on this reading adventure is: I know that music does affect my emotions and my attitudes towards what I am doing. I know that it aids in relaxation and it can rejuvenate me. It can be soothing or irritating. I still don't know if the music we choose to listen to matches our dominant brainwaves. I also think music will alter my brainwaves. Like, "I didn't like that song when I first heard it, but if you keep listening it kindda grows on ya!" I believe that music will affect the way we behave. While raising my kids, I found that the music they were listening to had a big impact on how they related to their family. So, the music's tempo alters the brainwaves. Chaotic music results in chaotic brainwaves. Here's information I found while I was out there surfing the internet waves: There are studies for making music using your brainwaves too. Teachers! Alpha waves make learning more sure. "researchers have speculated that a fully functioning brain can generate as much as 10 watts of electrical power" Learn About Binaural Beats My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. Proverbs 3:1-8

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Many silent places can be enjoyed in Alaska.
I've been told: "Listen to the silence."
But, can you listen to silence? "Silence is golden."
I heard that quote when I was a noisy kid.
Darkness and silence
I don't like.
Sometimes it isn't golden.
I am not sure what this song is all about.
Being deaf to other people.
Sounds, silence.
I don't know.
But I like the tune so much.
Sounds Of Silence
(Written by Paul Simon)

Hello darkness, my old friend I've come to talk with you again Because a vision softly creeping Left its seeds while I was sleeping And the vision that was planted in my brain Still remains Within the sound of silence In restless dreams I walked alone Narrow streets of cobblestone 'Neath the halo of a street lamp I turned my collar to the cold and damp When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light That split the night And touched the sound of silence And in the naked light I saw Ten thousand people, maybe more People talking without speaking People hearing without listening People writing songs that voices never share And no one dared Disturb the sound of silence "Fools", said I, "You do not know Silence like a cancer grows Hear my words that I might teach you Take my arms that I might reach you" But my words, like silent raindrops fell And echoed In the wells of silence And the people bowed and prayed To the neon god they made And the sign flashed out its warning In the words that it was forming And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls And tenement halls" And whispered in the sounds of silence
Buy Simon & Garfunkle's Sounds of Silence
According to Song Facts, this song is "about man's lack of communication with his fellow man". Visit Song Facts for more information about this song and more.

Monday, August 15, 2005

A Good Name

Kitchen Orchid
Orchid blooming on the window sill.

I have several orchids in my kitchen and love the blooms that go on for weeks at a time. This orchid has been in bloom for over six weeks! It is a big leaf orchid. It has a big name, phalaenopsis.

"It was very cold that day when we were loaded into the wagons. None of us wanted to go and our parents didn't want to let us go. Oh, we cried for this was the first time we were to be separated from our parents. I remember looking back at Na-tah-ki and she was crying too. Nobody waved as the wagons, escorted by the soldiers, took us toward the school at Fort Shaw. Once there our belongings were taken from us, even the little medicine bags our mothers had given to us to protect us from harm. Everything was placed in a heap and set afire. Next was the long hair, the pride of all the Indians. The boys, one by one, would break down and cry when they saw their braids thrown on the floor. All of the buckskin clothes had to go and we had to put on the clothes of the White Man." . . . all with the goal of making followers of Christ. The above story was found while I browsed Blogs here at Blogger. Check out the website and read the thoughts of Jennifer at "the idle rambling thoughts of an abstract thinker". I am always saddened when I read "making followers of Christ" related to stories like this. For someone to put on Jesus Christ's good name the wrongs they themselves, as individuals or by group effort, inflict on the peoples they are ----- helping/saving/civilizing. "Love for one another" is the distinct character that should be evident in people that know Jesus Christ. Invasion-like stories are found not only with Indians here in USA, but all peoples have stories similar to this. They are sad to read. Injustice will be dealt with when God, someday, makes all things right. I believe that Jesus Christ was "obedient even unto death" to extend His love for, His care of and His salvation to mankind through His shed blood. His wonderful Name has been shamed by many of man's agendas throughout the centuries. Instead of extending His love, care and salvation, many that claimed to know God and were bringing Jesus Christ to their culture, hurt the people God died for! Stories like this display openly the spiritual battle that has been raging unseen, throughout the ages. It has given Jesus Christ a bad name. I've seen the disgust that those being hurt --by being helped --have for the Gospel. For the moment Evil seems to have triumphed by the hurts inflicted on Indians or Others by "Christians" attempting to make "followers of Jesus Christ". Misguided men/women have created deep wounds that won't seem to heal even with time. Yet, God also says... none are without excuse. He has displayed His goodness in Creation and if we truely seek Him, He can be found. No matter if we have been mistreated. Something I've recently read:
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned... ...God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:7-8,10 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1 GOD IS GOOD! Man is not so very good.... that's why we need Jesus Christ! Pass the Word around! Be sure and visit the above website.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

It's HOT!

An Evening at Eureka
Fireweed Blooms
Glen Highway
Yesterday the temperature was up to 90 F here at Twin Lake. We are at 88 F today. (3:30 PM). Most likely get up to the same temp as yesterday. The sun is pretty much overhead right now. All this heat makes we wonder about Global Warming. Is that really happening or is it a scare tactic, as some say. To scare people, but why? I have no idea. I saw a bumper sticker that said: "Alaskan's FOR global warming". Alaskan's aren't scared! We are thinking a few banana trees in the back yard could be fun! Hot weather when I was growing up was 70 f. We walked around pulling our necklines and fanning ourselves with it saying over and over, "It's sooooooooo hot!" Mom said, "It's too hot to cook." We knew it was VERY hot when Dad said that! My children were young when 68 F was a beautiful summer day and IF it got to 70 F (!!!!!) they could go and run in the sprinkler! My daughter and I were talking and laughing about that recently. I don't remember many days when they would run in the sprinkler. Now we have lightning and thunder showers! I remember the first few times that I actually heard thunder. My now 24 year old son Klint, (not in school yet) stood by the patio door and listened. It frightened him and then he said, "Mom, God does not love us anymore." Before my Dad went to Heaven, he came over and carried a chair to the back deck to sit and listen to the thunder. It was all new then. I think we are having more of it recently. At least it is not as exciting as back then, unless it is right over the top of us! Anyway, the fireweed is nearly bloomed completely and right now it's hard to believe the old saying that when the fireweed blooms clear to the top, by six weeks we will see the first snow flurries. BRRRR! Come on sunshine! Something to think about:
Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. Revelation 16:8,9

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dust Off


The September 2001 death of 19-year-old Austin Purser in Valdez, Alaska, was attributed to Dust-Off. According to the young man's roommates, the decedent had come home about 4 a.m. and had huffed from an aerosol can of Dust-Off. Read what Snopes says about this story and topic. This story came to me from an email friend. I don't understand why anyone would want to buzz for 10 seconds? But maybe I don't understand because I have always been one of those very careful types. Kids must be bored! My response to my kids when they complained of being so bored was: "You're bored? You want me to help you find something to do?" Maybe kids need more wood to chop, more chores to do? More responsibilities to be responsible for? More camping? More supervision? But this is reported to happen to the most unsuspecting parents, families who felt like they had all the bases covered, just like the parents in this story:

First I'm going to tell you a little about me and my family. My name is Jeff. I am a Police Officer for a city which is known nationwide for its crime rate. We have a lot of gangs and drugs. At one point we were # 2 in the nation in homicides per capita. I also have a police K-9 named Thor. He was certified in drugs and general duty. He retired at 3 years old because he was shot in the line of duty. He lives with us now and I still train with him because he likes it. I always liked the fact that there was no way to bring drugs into my house. Thor wouldn't allow it. He would tell on you. The reason I say this is so you understand that I know about drugs. I have taught in schools about drugs. My wife asks all our kids at least once a week if they used any drugs, and she makes them promise they wont. I like building computers occasionally and started building a new one in February 2005. I also was working on some of my older computers. They were full of dust so on one of my trips to the computer store I bought a 3 pack of DUST OFF. Dust Off is a can of compressed air to blow dust off a computer. A few weeks later when I went to use one of them they were all used. I talked to my kids and my two sons both said they had used them on their computer and messing around with them. I yelled at them for wasting the 10 dollars I paid for them. On February 28 I went back to the computer store. They didn't have the 3 pack which I had bought on sale so I bought a single jumbo can of Dust Off. I went home and set it down beside my computer. On March 1st, I left for work at 10 PM. Just before midnight my wife went down and kissed Kyle goodnight. At 5:30 am the next morning Kathy went downstairs to wake Kyle up for school, before she left for work. He was propped up in bed with his legs crossed and his head leaning over. She called to him a few times to get up. He didn't move. He would sometimes tease her like this and pretend he fell back asleep. He was never easy to get up. She went in and shook his arm. He fell over. He was pale white and had the straw from the Dust Off can coming out of his mouth. He had the new can of Dust Off in his hands. Kyle was dead. I am a police officer and I had never heard of this. My wife is a nurse and she had never heard of this. We later found out from the coroner, after the autopsy, that only the propellant from the can of Dust off was in his system. No other drugs. Kyle had died between midnight and 1 A.M. I found out that using Dust Off is being done mostly by kids ages 9 through 15. They even have a name for it. It's called dusting. A take off from the Dust Off name. It gives them a slight high for about 10 seconds. It makes them dizzy. A boy who lives down the street from us showed Kyle how to do this about a month before. Kyle showed his best friend. Told him it was cool and it couldn't hurt you. Its just compressed air. It can't hurt you. His best friend said no. Kyle was wrong. It's not just compressed air. It also contains a propellant called R2. It’s a refrigerant like what is used in your refrigerator. It is a heavy gas. Heavier than air. When you inhale it, it fills your lungs and keeps the good air, with oxygen, out. That's why you feel dizzy, buzzed. It decreases the oxygen to your brain, to your heart. Kyle was right. It can't hurt you. IT KILLS YOU. The horrible part about this is there is no warning. There is no level that kills you. It's not cumulative or an overdose; it can just go randomly, terribly wrong. Roll the dice and if your number comes up you die. IT'S NOT AN OVERDOSE. It's Russian Roulette. You don't die later. Or not feel good and say I've had too much. You usually die as you're breathing it in. If not, you die within 2 seconds of finishing "the hit." That's why the straw was still in Kyle's mouth when he died. Why his eyes were still open. The experts want to call this huffing. The kids don't believe it's huffing. As adults we tend to lump many things together. But it doesn't fit here. And that's why it's more accepted. There is no chemical reaction. no strong odor. It doesn't follow the huffing signals. Kyle complained a few days before he died of his tongue hurting. It probably did. The propellant causes frostbite. If I had only known. It's easy to say hey, it's my life and I'll do what I want. But it isn't. Others are always affected. This has forever changed our family's life. I have a hole in my heart and soul that can never be fixed. The pain is so immense I can't describe it. There's nowhere to run from it. I cry all the time and I don't ever cry. I do what I'm supposed to do but I don't really care. My kids are messed up. One won't talk about it. The other will only sleep in our room at night. And my wife, I can't even describe how bad she is taking this. I thought we were safe because of Thor. I thought we were safe because we knew about drugs and talked to our kids about them. After Kyle died another story came out. A Probation Officer went to the school system next to ours to speak with a student. While there he found a student using Dust Off in the bathroom. This student told him about another student who also had some in his locker. This is a rather affluent school system. They will tell you they don't have a drug problem there. They don't even have a dare or plus program there. So rather than tell everyone about this "new" way of getting high they found, they hid it. The probation officer told the media after Kyle's death and they, the school, then admitted to it. I know that if they would have told the media and I had heard, it wouldn't have been in my house. We need to get this out of our homes and school computer labs. Using Dust Off isn't new and some "professionals" do know about. It just isn't talked about much, except by the kids. They all seem to know about it. April 2nd was 1 month since Kyle died. April 5th would have been his 15th birthday. And every weekday I catch myself sitting on the living room couch at 2:30 in the afternoon and waiting to see him get off the bus. I know Kyle is in heaven but I can't help but wonder if I died and went to Hell. Jeff
Pass on this information to your family and friends. Watch where that spray can of compressed air is and how much you had last time it was used! Put those kids to WORK! Don't your windows need cleaning? Maybe Gramma's do? Kids do so much better on ladders than old Momma's do. Go to this website for more information. SNOPES Against Idleness and Mischief Isaac Watts How doth the little crocodile Improve his shining tail, And pour the waters of the Nile On every golden scale! How cheerfully he seems to grin, How neatly spreads his claws, And welcomes little fishes in, With gently smiling jaws! How doth the little busy bee Improve each shining hour, And gather honey all the day From every opening flower! How skillfully she builds her cell! How neat she spreads the wax! And labours hard to store it well With the sweet food she makes. In works of labour or of skill, I would be busy too; For Satan finds some mischief still For idle hands to do. In books, or work, or healthful play, Let my first years be passed, That I may give for every day Some good account at last Age Old Wisdom:
Idle hands make mischief. Unknown
The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother. Proverbs 29:15
Chewy Gets the Fish!
We went to Valdez on Sunday and one of the places we stopped was a river filled with spawning salmon. Chewy wanted to jump in and get them! Have a beautiful day. Blessing to you May the One and Only God, the One who created each one of us, bless each person that reads this with wisdom to love, teach and cherish their children. May He bless our children with wisdom to know when he/she is being loved, taught well and cherished!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Little Miss Sweet Potato

Little Miss Sweet Potato A fun online game. Go to the website and enter your own Zip Code. The goal of the game is to reach all 50 States. It should be fun to watch where Miss Sweet Potato lands!

Howling Huskies Gospel Festival The Festival this past weekend was fun but WET! At least the first day was. The second day was a little dryer but we still got rain. The great thing was the huge tent! Howling Huskies Gospel Festival planners will be purchasing this huge tent if finances allow. Here are a few pictures from our weekend.

Continuing Bird Search For those interested in finding out the name of the bird from a previous post, keep updated at this website. Help Me Identify A Bird The topic is found under Kodiak Island bird. P.S. For those who may enjoy knowing: the little girl enjoying her Agutuk is my granddaughter Ashlee, but the agutuk is burgundyrose's.