Some say the world will end with fire.

Others say with ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those that favor fire.

But if I had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate,

To say that for destruction ice,

Is also great and would suffice.

Robert Frost


"Good things come to those who wait, but, only the things LEFT by those who hustle." - Unknown (at least by me)

"Life is wonderful, without it you are dead." - Hy "Pete" Peterson - Park City and Kenecott Miner

"Don't worry about those people in your past---there is a reason they are not in your present." - Unknown

"Life's tough - it's even tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary!" - Vince Lombardi

"If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re probably taking up too much space.” ~ Attributed to Jim Whittaker by Doug ‘Swani’ Swantner, Alaska Smokejumper and Air Attack Base Manager (Ret.)

About Me

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I am married and have seven children and twenty grandchildren. I retired January 1, 2010 after working 39+ years for the Forest Service...NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE HAS BEGUN!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Today I got a note in my e-mail from one of my fellow employees. He said when he came to work here he planned to stay 3-5 years and now it has been 10 so it's time to go. He then said January 2 was his retirement date.

This guy is one of the best that I have ever worked with. He can make things happen just by thinking about them. I have only ever seen one other individual that could make things happen like this guy---and he moved away many years ago. I have enjoyed working with him and hate to see him hang it up but I guess we all have to go sometime.

I have spent nearly the last hour in his office talking about the projects that he has done since I have been here---it is awesome to talk about that list of accomplishments. I am going to miss him and this is a TOUGH GOODBYE. He'll still be around the town but it won't be the same.

Friday, December 26, 2008


The day after any holiday is always a disaster. Kids getting ready to go back home and hurrying to get everything loaded. Others wanting to do something else before they go. Anyway today feels like the holidays are over and it is time to get on with life.

I took my truck to a service shop to have it checked out after yesterdays broken line in the transmission. Tough lesson learned. It cost $120.00 to drain the transmission and replace the fluid because I put the wrong type of transmission fluid in yesterday---so all totalled it cost $137.50 for the transmission repair I was so proud of yesterday. Bet I pay a lot more attention to what is in the book for recommended fluids from here on.

It snowed a lot around us but not much here. My mom called and said they got 18" of new snow yesterday. Inklings folks called and said they got more than 24" of new snow. I am glad we live in a valley that only got a couple of inches and most of that has melted this afternoon. The roads are wet but mostly clear now.

We had a great Christmas---wish the rest of our kids had been here but we had a good time and had a nice visit with three of the seven. We were lucky enough to have phone calls from the rest of them. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Today we had a very Merry Christmas. It started out a little strange as one of my grand daughters doesn't do well without all the sleep she can get so we didn't start opening gifts until 10:00 (at least three hours later than ususal). We had a good time watching her open her gifts then play with it for a while before she would open another one. It was fun to watch her. We didn't go shoot the glass balls from the tree yet out to the rifle range so the rest of you can still make it home in time to do that if you hurry. Yeah I know it is red neck to do that---but I'm glad my grand kids like to shoot the glass balls. It is worth a lot to see how excited they get to have their turn with the rifle. No matter where you go or how old you get it is always good to know how to shoot a rifle---and a pistol for that matter.



Today I took my truck out of the garage to go check on the horses. As I drove into the street I noticed a lot of red oil all over the driveway. I pulled the truck back on to the driveway to check it out. I had blown the rubber line off the transmission. If I hadn't noticed it when I first started out I would have burned up the transmission in the time I was going to be gone. I was able to get the hose back on and retightened. Then I took it to a station and added three quarts of transmission fluid---I am sure glad it came off today and not when we were moving the kids home or getting our daughter from Logan---that would have cost a lot to replace the transmission. Sometimes I am also very thankful for my childhood where I learned a little about mechanics from one of my best friends dad. We reconstructed a Model A from the ground up when I was a senior in high school. I learned a lot about what makes things go doing that.....thanks for your patience Bruce.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


My body is in the process of rejecting me. I hate it. Yesterday we replaced the water softener in our house. I helped the guy take the salt container up the stairs. When we got it to the top of the stairs I went to open the door to let him out. As I squeezed by him the disc I have injured many times started to hurt again. I immediately started the ADVIL treatment and put on the back brace. I feel a little better today but it still hurts pretty bad. At least the numbness in my legs has gone away.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


It doesn't feel like liberation---it feels like part of my heart has been ripped out. I know they are still there and that we will see them occasionally but it ain't the same. We took these kids back to their parents yesterday (Saturday). They have been bouncing off the walls since the judge made the decision on Wednesday that they could go home and they couldn't wait to get there.
I took Inklings out to dinner last night at a restaurant---I think it was the second meal we have had out together since May. It was nice and was pretty relaxed but our lives have been forever changed. Their parents stole our grandparent role from us to these kids by their actions that got them tangled up in the courts. I may be able to forgive them for that sometime but it AIN'T T'Day.

Friday, December 19, 2008


We have had five of our grand children in foster care with us since May. They go home to their parents tomorrow if we can get all their stuff in the truck.

Tonight two young mothers from our ward showed up at the door with five huge bags (I'm talking 35 gallon size bags) of Christmas presents for the kids. We have had several other things happen to help out with their Christmas but this one really got to me.

These women that brought the bags are young mothers from the new subdivision just north of us. They told us the entire subdivision decided that instead of getting neighbor gifts they would get our grand kids some Christmas presents. This really touched me because these women (infact about the whole subdivision) have young children. They are not that well off that they could do this without sacrificing and they need Christmas for their kids too.

It is (and always has been) really hard for me to accept anything from anyone and after they left the bags I had a good cry---it was soooo good of them to be thinking about our grand kids. The grand kids were going to have a good Christmas without those presents but now they will probably have the best Christmas of their lives---literally and figuratively. They will have it at home with their parents and they will have lots of presents (and I'm talking about toys they wouldn't even ask for because Santa always ran out of those before he got to their house).

If you don't think that is humbling let it happen to you and see----


This morning I woke up early and laid in bed for two hours trying to go back to sleep---didn't happen---I just continued to get more and more anxious. So I jumped out of bed and went to work. I have now read all of my mail and completed all of the things that were outstanding and needed completion today so maybe the anxious feeling (night sweats) will go away....or maybe they aren't related to work and the anxious feelings will get worse as the day goes on.

We started packing the kids stuff yesterday to get them ready to go home. I went dumpster diving behind the stores in town to find enough boxes to pack their belongings. After most of the day packing Inklings remarked that we probably won't have enough room in the truck to get all their stuff home. It is amazing how much stuff they have accumulated in the seven months we have had them. It WILL all fit in the truck but it will be piled pretty high. Whenever you have things piled high you have to be careful that you tie them down well to keep them from tipping out of the truck. I am truly not looking forward to the trip tomorrow to take them home.

I checked the weather for tomorrow a few minutes ago and we should have a pretty good day. With all of the snow and ice on the roads we will have to cover the kids stuff with a tarp to keep it dry but other than that it should be an easy trip. We will take the truck and the kids van over and come back in just the truck. It will seem very strange to not have two vehicles at the house. TG hated having the kids at the house but she's going to hate more not having OUR car at school. We let her take it because anywhere we needed a car we had to take the van to have enough seat belts for all the kids. Now it will be just the two of us.

As I have been typing this I have been thinking about all the things we'll have to do after the kids are gone. It will probably take us several days to clean all of the carpets in the house. I have to finish the repair of the wall that one of them pushed through with his foot while trying to push the couch out so he could get toys from under it. I have decided I need to just replace all of the toilet seats because they are getting bad and it is easier to replace them than to fix them. We need to replace the water softener---it has started to leak and we probably have some wall problems caused by the leak---oh joy. We need to replace two bathroom floors with tile. We need to replace the kitchen carpet---it is amazing to me how much damage has been done in the kitchen in the last seven months. This is just a start of what needs to be fixed but as you can see the house took a beating. Maybe this list is what caused the night sweats---

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


We just got home from court where the judge decided to let our five grand children move back home with their parents and we are to move them this Saturday. They will remain in DCFS custody for three more months except for the two year old whose custody was restored to the parents today.

Why isn't this good you ask---well in the first place I don't think their parents have prepared themselves for what will occur Saturday. I don't think they are ready by any sense of the imagination to have all five kids returned to them then. I know it looks like a good thing to have the kids go back to their parents but I don't feel like they have paid a big enough price for their actions to have these kids back in their house.

For the record I will spend the next 18 years wondering if our kids are doing what they need to do to keep out of trouble and wondering when we'll get the grand kids back. The judge told them today that this is their last chance---if they screw up again the kids are gone---that means we get them---so see we either worry about them or we raise them---GOOD??????

Monday, December 15, 2008


Inklings had some derogatory things to say about my MALL tolerance. She said it was 15 minutes---well actually it is a lot less than that but---I hung in there Saturday while our grandkids were with their parents for an overnight visit for over 3 hours in one mall and 2 hours in another one. We went back to one store three times to look at the same thing---if it were me I would have bought it the first time---but no we still don't have it bought and Inklings gets to have stress over not having it taken care of---OH YEAH I FORGOT TO TELL YOU IT WASN'T AN EXACTLY PERFECT MATCH FOR WHAT SHE HAD IN MIND.

Well the Mall experience wasn't so bad it was the trip both up and back that was bad. We were in a super storm on the way up and at one time all traffic was stopped and we were sliding down the interstate. Inklings said "You're sliding" as we slid toward the back of a huge semi at about three miles per hour. I said "YUP--what would you like me to do about it?" Luckily about then one of the tires hit a small patch of exposed asphalt and we came to a stop just a few feet short of the semi. I was sure glad that I kept my following distance stretched out because of the snow---at a normal distance we'd have hit the truck. Going home was nearly as bad as the snow had been packed to ice and was very slick. There just wasn't as much traffic to contend with.

Friday, December 12, 2008


"Good things come to those who wait---but only those things left by those that hustle." Unknown

I love that statement---LOVE IT. I think it fits a lot of things in life where if you think someone else needs to take care of you then you are going to come up with the short end of the stick. However I have waited patiently for Inklings to finish her blog and reading her e-mail. She never could get on the site good enough to finish either. I came down as soon as she turned the computer off, turned it back on signed in and did all of my stuff then read some blogs then decided I'd gloat a little.

We have waited patiently---well not waited---for the kids to get a chance to go home to their parents---tomorrow they get to go for the weekend. You'd think that would make them easier to deal with for the night---NO CHANCE---they have turned into brats. Every one of them is harder to deal with tonight than they have been for weeks. I know they are excited to go home for a couple of days---but I damn sure am not happy that they are going.

It almost appears that eight months of working on rules and obedience went down the drain when they washed their hands tonight. Hope this works out alright...they'll be broken hearted if things go gunnysack over the weekend.

Hey Inklings the site is back operational now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We found out yesterday at the team meeting for my son and his wife that the recommendation is going to be made to the judge to let the grand kids go home this weekend overnight and after school is out (Dec 19) they will get a 30 day trial return home. Guess that is good news and bad news all rolled into one. I asked Inklings last night what we were going to do---she said you are going to go to work and I am going to stay here and go crazy all by myself. NOT AN EXACT QUOTE BUT AN EXACT MEANING.

This is one of the things through all of this that has worried me---what if they fail the 30 day trial---where does that put the kids---if I were one of them I'd be madder than a hornet. Where does that put us---with angry kids---AGAIN---

December 7 - I blew it

I planned on doing a major blog for Pearl Harbor Day and I blew it. Here are a couple of pictures taken on a Brownie camera that was found a few years ago and the film developed. I have a lot of them on my hard drive and look at them and am thankful for what the World War II vets did for the World.
I can't believe the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor but more than that I cannot believe all the death and destruction the veterans saw as they put their lives on the line to preserve our freedom. It was way more hands on battling in that period of time that it is today with all of the technologically controlled bombs and drones and stuff.

I am truly thankful that these men and women put their lives on the line and turned the tide world wide so we could remain a free state, and England could remain free---sometimes I question the actions for France.

There are times when I think about all the people that died storming the beaches in order to win that war. That had to be awful.

When I was a lad I had a neighbor that was an alcoholic. He would sit in front of the bank and drink wine until he passed out and peed his pants all the time. He staggered around drunk every where he went. We teased him mercilessly until one day my dad sat us all down and talked to us about the sacrifice he made in Normandy---when he came home he was never the same again. Dad told us the military called it shell shocked - whatever that meant. Damn I wish I could take those mean things I did back.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Eight crying one carrying she---she's gotta be free. Last night Ashtyn---Lightning Stikes cat---didn't come in when I opened the door after turning out the lights to go to bed. I asked Inklings if she had seen her. She hadn't so we went to bed. This morning I got a call at the office from Inklings telling me she had found Ashtyn and she was dead. All of the kids had seen her dead on the way to school and everyone was upset about losing her. Inklings told me to come take care of her---she couldn't do the dead animal thing.

So I came home from work and took Ashtyn up into the hills to the same spot I buried Sadie (our dog) last spring. I buried the cat right next to the dog---they were good friends when they were both alive so I thought it was appropriate---and since I was the designee I got to choose where she went.

While I was burying her I thought it would be a nice place to have my ashes scattered too. It is one heck of a view of the valley from there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


This is a subject I have been pondering for a while which anyone that has read my blog knows. I go to leadership meetings and come out of them depressed because of all the new stuff there is out there that I am supposed to be doing. I spend a couple of days in a depression and trying to figure out all the new stuff then decide---I can't do all that stuff but I can do the important stuff (to me) better than most. After that decision I am good for the rest of the month until the next leadership team meeting. How long do you beat your head on a wall trying to learn stuff that you don't think is important? The problem with that is the new wave of leadership really truly believe that you can manage the land with a computer. I dread the day when all of the gray wave (us old folks) is gone and the management of our lands is left to computers.

Don't get me wrong, I think computers are a great thing and can keep track of lots of information that we put into them and they can sort it how we want it and feed it back to us to help determine what is best---but for damn sure computers cannot make decisions---nope---not a single one---they can sort things to where it looks like a decision but it is still just a process that may or may not have any bearing in reality.

Maybe this old dog is too set in his ways to learn the new tricks.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Over Thanksgiving Psychodoctor took a bunch of pictures of fourteen of our seventeen grand children. The other three weren't here. They turned out really good and I have figured out how to print them on my printer so I am really going to enjoy having them. Thanks Bud!!!



Seventeen years ago while I was stationed at Flaming Gorge I started using a day planner. I really like the month at a glance calendars but they no longer make the calendar with just the months. You can still get it but you have to buy all of the individual days with it. The cost is close to $60.00. Well I'm too damn tight to pay that much money for a calendar so I go to a copy center---shrink a normal calendar to 65% onto poster paper---cut it to fit the day planner---put month markers at the bottom of the pages so I can find the month quickly---punch it and install it in the planner---and wah lah---I have exactly the calendar I want for my day planner for the new year.

I did this today while I was on annual leave---if I had been getting paid the cost of the calendar would have been over $100.00---good thing I wasn't on the pay roll. Because I wasn't on the pay roll it cost $2.80 for copies and page labels. Other than that I am sore in the back from leaning over cutting the pages and putting the labels on and I'm also kind of smirking that I got exactly what I wanted for almost nothing---excluding my time.

TAKE THAT FRANKLIN PLANNERS---you'd think they would keep putting out the products that sold well but apparently just using the monthly sheets didn't fit their training module so they quit selling them separately. Since they did that there hasn't been one sale from my district and it serves them right.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Today one of my old friends and an ex Ranger on the district I now have came into my office for a short visit. Four of the people that work for me worked for him before he retired so we had a good visit.

He told me he had never been madder at anyone in his life than he was at me one day in a leadership meeting. He was saying how much money he needed to take care of an administrative site on the district. I made the comment that I could give him the fix for that and threw him a book of matches. I could tell he was mad---but that was over 20 years ago and he's still mad. HMMMM---some memories just need to go away. NOT THE FRIENDS THOUGH---WE HAD A GREAT VISIT.

I told him the four of us visiting with him were just a figment of his imagination because none of us were there. He laughed pretty hard because he had been under a lot of use or lose in his career too.


I have hit the time of year where annual leave either has to be used or today I donated 60 hours to a lady that works for me that has been really sick with cancer nearly all year. She is in her early eighties and works to be able to live. It is a sad state of affairs because she is so sick I don't think she should be working but she just keeps on chugging and coming in and doing her best. There are a lot (and I do mean a lot) of kids out there that wouldn't work as hard as she does if they were fully healthy. There is a great lesson to be learned from this lady. It isn't the work that is going to kill her.

BUT---that wasn't what I signed on to write about. With the donation of leave I have made I will be on annual leave for most of the rest of the year. Even at that I will lose about four days because of the time I will have to go back for meetings and other things. So I'll just pick some other lucky person and give them some leave to help them continue to get a paycheck through their sickness. I remember when the first allowed us to do this. I think it is a great thing for people to be able to give what they are going to lose to someone that is sick.