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!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


We got home last night about 6:00 p.m. after taking Inklings Mom south to see her Doctor. We left at 8:00 a.m. so it was a pretty long day in cars. We were supposed to get a big storm yesterday and we had beautiful weather (minus the wind) all day long.

The Doctor gave my MIL a clean bill of health so we won't have to take her down again unless something unforseen occurs. It is very nice to have her on the mend. She was terribly sick with her last surgery and we are all glad that she has finally recovered to the point she isn't in a Doctors care.

When we arrived home we stopped at a store to buy some bread for dinner. When we went in it was about 60 degrees. When we came out about ten minutes later it was about 40 degrees and the wind was howling and very cold. We got home and ate dinner and it started to rain. Shortly after that it changed to snow. When I got up this morning we had 4 inches of snow on the lawn but none on the side walks or roads. It started snowing again a few minutes ago. I am certainly happy to have the storm---after we got home from the trip---let 'er snow.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I stole this photo off one of my friends face book page---it is probably copywrighted but I took it anyway. This is a photo of a runaway fire on the Boise National Forest in 2006---my friend was burned on his arms, face and legs running from it. One of his crew members took the picture as they ran.


FYI EVERYONE- There's a site called and it's an online phone book that has a picture of your house, credit score, profession, age, how many people live in the house. Remove yourself by the Privacy button on the bottom right. (passing along, scary stuff!) I personally checked it out and it is really there! Some of the info wasn't correct, but there was enough that was correct to warrant removing it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


This afternoon I will go to the Fire Center and take the updated training for Fire Business Management. I will have one more required training before I can go out after May 28th. These trainings will allow me to participate on fires if I want to and they need me. Without the training I can't go so guess I will take it. I am not sure that I am going to go out but I want to at least keep the option open in case I decide to go.

For sure fire is the part of my job that I miss the most---I got a call from an adjoining district last week with an invitation to help burn 2000 acres---can't do that anymore due to physical limitations but it was nice to get the call---I told him if he needed help with moving stuff I could do that. It is fun to get these calls from people you hired and trained that still want you around.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Just got off the phone with Inklings and the doctor put a drain in her mother to take the fluids out of the area where she was bleeding internally last week. It is no longer blood but fluid is still accumulating near the incision. Inklings said her mother is tired from teh trip but did really good. The doctor put the drain in at the office. Inklings has to take the fluids off with a syringe that attatches to the drain. I have no idea how long she will be gone but the doctor wants her mother back in one week to see if he can remove the drain. Guess time will tell. Seems to me that she is doing much better as time goes by.

I'll post another update when and if I know more information.


Not me---Inklings. She went last night to take her mother back to the doctor early today. We are all hoping that her mom is better and won't have to go back into surgery to stop the internal bleeding that was occurring at the last Doctor visit. The visit was scheduled for Tuesday and I was going to go with her but the doctor rescheduled her Monday afternoon to Wednesday at 10:30---made it so I couldn't go.

We are supposed to get the new doors for our house this week---hopefully they came in and we can get them hung. It will be nice when that part of our house is finished. Then we can start looking for other things to take care of.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


For the past few months I have been thinking that earthquakes are getting higher in magnitude and are happening faster---so I googled earthquakes and found that this is likely to be just a normal year. I seriously wonder about that---take a look at the map---the Pacific is completely ringed by earthquakes---AND THIS MAP IS JUST EARTHQUAKES IN THE LAST 8 TO 30 DAYS!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


This uis likely the last update on her. She is doing better each day but she had flu like symptoms Monday and has had some problems with gas. She is getting stronger as the days pass so that is a good sign. She has a Doctor visit scheduled for Thursday (4/15) to see how the doctor thinks she is doing. We think it will be a few more days before she can drive herself so Inklings is going to stay until the doctor says she is good to drive. Don't know much more than that but she seems to be improving a lot every day---at least that is my take.


Here is the picture of our youngest daughter getting engaged last Friday. It is a cute picture and we are happy that she has found a good guy to marry.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I had a daughter and her fiance, and a son and two of his girls come for the weekend. The daughter came to show us her diamond from her engagement and our son came to do some work in a town near here. Our daughter agreed to take care of teh girls while he was working. Inklings is still with her parents while her mother is recovering from surgery.

I really struggled with what I needed to do to feed them. They all woke up at different times Saturday morning so they got to help themselves to cereal and toast because I wasn't about to cook three different breakfasts. We went to see Inklings and her folks and had lunch there---sandwiches, pickles, chips and drinks that I took with us. We got home a little late so I baked pizzas from Papa Murphy's. Breakfast today was cereal (included some oatmeal servings). Lunch was hot dogs and chili. Not a great menu but guess it was good enough to get us through. They probably won't even think about visiting again if Inklings isn't home. ;=)

We did have a good laugh about when they were kids and I had to feed them---they said they either got to eat cold cereal (a treat at that time) or scrambled eggs---or if they were really smart the got to go out for fast food.


For the first time in 26 years I missed the Region 4 fire team meeting. I always looked forward to this week long meeting because it was in the early spring and signaled that it was time to get past winter and get ready for fire season.

I saw one of the fire guys Saturday morning and he told me he just got back from the fire team meeting in Reno. I gotta say that really set me back---that is the first thing that has happened that made me question---just for a moment---my decision to retire. That moment has passed but I wonder how I will feel when there is smoke in the sky!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Unfortunately they found the four missing miners dead. They had passed three of them several times going in and out of the mine but just didn't see them because of the smoke. TOUGH, TOUGH Life those miners live so that we can have all the power we want. My heart goes out to the families.

The focus now turns to recovery---gotta be tough on those that worked so hard on the rescue. It is difficult to change points of view when you are dealing with life and death.


Last night I got a call from our youngest daughter MJ who was supposed to be on her way down to see us with her boyfriend. She just called to let me know that she had just got engaged. They have not yet set a date but my guess is mid-summer. It doesn't seem possible that she is old enough to get married.

She graduates from college on May 8th after three years at Utah State---she is graduating magn-cum-laude (I think that is the right one) from the Huntsman School of Business at USU. I am way proud of her and wish her well with her coming marriage and her job hunt.


We went to see Inklings and her mother and dad today. The Doctor didn't make her mom go back into the hospital today and told her what she has to eat and drink daily to stay out of there. Thay have to call him with an update at 9:00 a.m. daily then he will determine if she has to go in for interveinous feeding. Her mom is trying hard not to have to go back into the hospital.

Her throat hurts from the tubes from surgery and she can hardly swallow. We took her some throat lozenges today that we hope will help. She is really frail and tired. She is better today by a long shot than she was yesterday though.

This recovery, like the one last summer, is going to be long and hard for her (asnd everyone else). She says this is the worst surgery that she has ever had. She is very weak and can hardly talk because of the sore throat. We hope things continue to improve for her.

Friday, April 9, 2010


This is as of 4:00 p.m. today.

Inklings said she is doing a little better from the pain but it has taken a lot out of her. She is still really sore and it takes her a lot of time to move anywhere.

She is not eating or drinking like she is supposed to. They called the Doctor today. He talked to her and told her she has to drink and they are diluting Gatorade to help her get some liquids down. I guess she has done better on that this afternoon but still not good enough. She eats about three bites of stuff then quits. The Doctor told her if she doesn't start eating and drinking by tomorrow they are going to have to put her back in the hospital and give her the food and liquids interveinously. She knows all of that but is still not doing good at it.

The Doctor is going to call at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow and if things haven't improved on the eating and drinking he is going to put her back in the hospital. Wish I had better news but now y'all know what I know.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I talked to Inklings about an hour ago. Her Mother is hurting a lot worse than yesterday. She can't stand to lie down and they can't check her bandages to see if there is increased bleeding. She is not running a fever so that is good. Hernia surgery on the stomach is tough---and it takes six weeks minimum to get to where you can start doing things. The third day after surgery is usually the hardest and I hope that is what we are seeing here. I wish I had better news on this.


Update on West Virginia coal mine---they went into the mine with air monitors and there was too much CO2 and Hydrogen to be safe so they have had to come back out and wait until they can clear the air out. The second hole into this area has been started but it's going to take some time to get into this area.

Earthquakes seem to be getting more severe to me. I watched a short clip on it yesterday and the people monitoring earthquakes say this year will probably not be any worse or better than any other year. You should Google recent earthquakes and open earthquakes from 8-30 days. I was shocked to see how many there have been---the Pacific Ocean has been completely surrounded by earthquakes in the last 30 days.

My daughters car is on the fritz again today---I wish she lived closer so that I could help her with these situations. As it is she just has to step up and figure it out herself.

Tiger Woods tees off in the Masters Tournament in one hour. Simply by coming back he has increased the viewership a whole lot---can't remember the numbers but it is a bunch. He's a great golfer---too bad he can't be a great individual---or maybe he can. Time will tell.

Is spring ever going to get here? It seems to me that we are way way way late seeing the low country free of snow. I am more than ready for spring to get here. I've got two sprinkler heads that I need to dig out and figure out why they aren't working properly before I can turn the system back on but I haven't felt like taking that job on in the miserable weather.

I also need to roto-till the garden so we are ready to plant it when the time is right.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


One rescue hole has been drilled and the air fan hooked up. The second hole is nearly half completed. There are no updates on the four missing miners.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Twenty five dead, four missing in coal mine disaster---it is unbelieveable that they are going through this again. I don't know what caused the blast but the description of what it did tells me it was huge. In their description of the aftermath of the blast they talked about the railroad steel being twisted like pretzels---I can't even imagine the force it would take to do that. I certainly hope they find the four alive.

This is one of those situations that it won't matter how many drills you have or how fast you drill---2300 feet is a deep hole and it's going to take some time to get through---I hope they get there in time.

WHAT THE-----------

Yesterday Inklings took her Mother south for surgery. She also took her Dad with them so he could be with her. By late last night we were all wondering how things went with the surgery---by all I mean Me, Inklings brothers and sisters and our kids. No word---nothing---but we do know they stayed in the town where the hospital is for the night....which is probably a good thing to not be travelling with a patient that has had major surgery....and in my opinion staying close to the hospital just in case was way smart.

My only point is that it would have been nice to know how the surgery went and how she was faring---coulda, shoulda, woulda.....

Monday, April 5, 2010


It is currently 48 degrees and windy. The clouds are heavy and it looks like the storm will be on us in a couple of hours. It is blustery and miserable outside. Inklings took her Mother in today for surgery to repair a hernia on her stomach so this is basically my first day alone in the house since I retired.

I had planned to do a lot of caulking of the windows and door frames today. I started to do it but changed my mind thinking the surface where the caulk was going was too cold. Probably not true but that's why I'm just going to veg out today.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I stole this picture from a friends face book last night. I wish I knew how to make it screen size. It is of the 1993 Malibu Fire and the picture was taken by a Boise BLM Smoke Jumper from Santa Monica Beach where they were bedded down. My friend was the Air Ops Branch Director on this fire. I was a field observer in Topanga Canyon. This picture is of the fire burning in and through Topanga Canyon. Many of you that have worked with me have heard me talk about the fire comin' to town and about the houses (I have called them the upright fuel type) just being totally involved in the fire in an instant---almost like they exploded. This is the fire that discussion comes from. I was in front of this fire watching about 100 homes per hour go up in the conflagration.
As I moved south and west I was just in awe at how each building was there and then it was totally engulfed in flames. I was also in awe that you could see the flames moving around inside the buildings through the walls. It was impressive, it was scary, it was the single greatest display of fire I have ever seen. During this night houses burned at the rate of about 100 structures per hour. Many of the homes were owned by movie stars (several million dollar value homes) and some were owned by just normal people (half a million dollar value homes). The fire didn't care it burned them all the same and involved them in the fire just as quickly. My job was to monitor and report on the advance of the fire to make sure the fire team in charge of it knew what was going on in the front so they could evauate the public and the firefighters in a timely manner.
Through the night the evacuation rate was about 1.5 miles per hour. Everyone inside that 1.5 miles had to be moved---it was a monstrous job---my hat is off to the Sheriff and his organization for being able to pull it off. Eventually I was on Malibu Beach and totally safe. I have joked a lot since then about having the best escape route and safety zone of my career on this fire. I was absolutely sure I was safe and that the escape route and safety zone would not burn. It would be pretty tough to ignite the PACIFIC OCEAN.

Thursday, April 1, 2010