Forgetful Monday

Roger hoping to get inside

UGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! I don’t know how I will make the night. I feel like I am Linus and Lucy hid my blanket. I left my iPad plugged in behind the desk in school. I have been so out of sorts it took me two as in 2 hours to try to pick the songs for Sunday. At least they will be pretty good. We are singing: “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us’ as our slow deliberate song. Just before the message it is: “I Love to Tell the Story,” and for the closing walking out hymn it is, “Redeemed.” That last one should be fun. I went upstairs to see the lists and the suggestions about 6:45 and between phone calls, text messages, James coming home and me missing the iPad, I didn’t get the choices finished until nearly 9 p.m. All I can say is UGGGGHHHHHH! I hope television is good or maybe I will have to read. Hmmm I better get the clothes out of the dryer and think about what to wear tomorrow. This long pants thing all week might be a stretch. I should just dig into the long skirts for something different, then again maybe not. Catch you later, hope your day was better than mind. Maybe I need to write in my planner on what to take with me. Ha!!

Oh my goodness, James just asked if there is a cat outside. I let Roger out before Glenda came over and that was around 6 p.m. because the local news was on when she was here. I guess I forgot about her too. Well hopefully she won’t feel the need to go outside at 2:30 a.m. Maybe if she doesn’t wake me, I won’t miss the iPad!

Twins Baptism

Left to right: Sydney holding Marshall, me, Nate and Victoria holding Lily. Those were the sponsors. Marshall’s other sponsor was unable to attend.

Yesterday the twins were baptized. The silly officiant (grandmother) in her haste to move the ceremony along said Marshall Anthony as Anthony Marshall the second time she dipped in the water. They were darlings during the ceremony and that was a big thing. Not a peep from either of them as I handled them and got near the baptismal fount. I am not sure if it was because they just knew something was different in their fancy clothes or if they were familiar with grandmother. Perhaps neither, those two have minds of their own.

Grandpa and Grandma with grandchildren

We also found a bit of time at the end of the morning’s festivities to gather up the grandchildren and grab a picture on the couch in the fellowship room of the church in Jamestown. It is such a beautiful room and has been kept up very well. I remember when the whole big carpet remodeling project was completed then the women purchased the new couches and chairs and I wonder if some were not perhaps just recovered at the time. I should have taken a picture of those chairs so comfortable for meetings. So, this is it for now, we are off to another week of school.

Rain, rain and more rain

Rain water outside the school in Linton.

We must be getting some residual from the hurricanes or maybe just some normal fall rains, not really sure since I didn’t check the forecast. We knew it would rain today and oh boy do we need it. The garden and all of the fields will be happy to drink the wonderful water, but….it is so cold. There are reports of snow in Montana in the higher elevations, again a wonderful sound as it will likely put a stop to the fires where it is falling. All good as long as it warms up again when the moisture quits. We have not officially made it to fall on the calendar, so we are not so interested in seeing winter on the ground.

Today was Homecoming for the football team. The two schools, Linton and HMB both had some in school activities of their own then those who were free or so inclined, headed to Linton for the final big Pep Rally. Up in HMB where I have been working as a substitute, the high school finished off the interschool volleyball tourney early this afternoon, there was a mini-pep rally with introductions of the volleyball and football players and stats people then the entire school headed outside and down Main Street for a parade. It was pretty neat and I have some pictures, but cannot post them at this time.

I am in James’ classroom while the game is happening in Linton. I refuse to go outside because of the rain. I might melt like the witch in the Wizard of Oz. I would be heard fizzling into nothing screaming, “I’m melting, I’m melting!!!” We cannot have that because of the plans for the weekend. We are heading to Jamestown in the morning for a weekend with the girls. The twins will be baptized by none other than grandma, me!! It will be at First Congregational UCC there which is where all three of our girls were baptized as was Jaxon, so this is sort of THE place for us. Anyway, I will enjoy the weekend, I hope. We are packing the swim suits and hope to have a fun time in the pool with the grandkids on Saturday night.

Last comment about tonight. I would have gone home with my sister, but I heard the game was on the local access channel and I decided to stay in the school and watch. Great idea!! The game is on the channel that the school does not get, so I am listening to it on the radio, but not the same as watching. I still refuse to go out and stand in the rain. Every time I walked outside today, it felt like I was soaking wet when I got inside, not my idea of fun! Oh well, we love the rain, I will just keep telling myself!!! Enough your weekend!!!

Smoke from a distant fire

sunrise 9-13-17

We have been having these awesome sunrises and sunsets because of the smoke in the air from the wild fires in Montana and Canada. Today it was a bit much. The smoke was so bad you could taste it. We are in the northern part of South Dakota so sometimes we get in on these things, but consider it comes all the way through North Dakota before it gets to us. Victoria said that Dickinson, ND was so bad that all sports were called off for the day. We also heard that in Bismarck the children were not allowed outside for recess because of the smoke and some particles in the air. Here is was acrid and hazy as you can see from the pictures scattered through this post.

For those of you not familiar with the area here is how to explain our states. North and South Dakota are somewhat rectangles. Say in proportion about a 4 high by 8 long. If you fold it in half side to side that is the place we live just inside the South Dakota border on the east side of the fold. Now take the North Dakota rectangle and fold or divide it in thirds top to bottom and draw a line on that bottom fold, that is Interstate 94. Make that line like a time line and in the middle where the zero is, that is Bismarck, so if it is 8 from one end to the other that makes Jamestown at positive 2 and Dickinson at -2, anyway that is my short geography lesson for today.

Haze today

This is all I know for now. It was a long day at church with Ministerial meeting this morning and quilting this evening. I managed a trip to the Health Care Center which was good. I also saw the chiropractor before I left town. She adjusted my hip, knees and ankles and told me to drink more water and walk more to remove the toxins from my joints. Hurrah!! Just what I want to do in this heat and smoky air. At least the water sounds like a good idea, maybe I will get started now. Take care and stay out of the haze!!

Fall produce and pests

Pick of the day

Not much to say, just want to show off a few of my pictures including today’s picks from the garden, a cosmos with a bee on it and the damage of made by the squirrels. Also just a bit of area weather information. The temperature here was over 90 F and it is very dry again. The bugs are everywhere and the grass feels more like spikes in some places. Here are shots I have gotten in the past few days.

Cosmos with bee

Mess around the Russian olive trees

The culprit!!

To the far left is a cosmos with a bee trying to get the rest of the pollen from it. To the close left is the grass around one of my Russian Olive trees. We could not figure out what was causing it to drop its leaves with no wind during that time. Well, the picture to the right shows the bushy-tailed culprit in action. I came outside one day to find two squirrels one larger and one smaller. The larger, apparently older one ran screaming down the tree and across the yard to the north when I appeared. The smaller and must be younger one stayed in the tree and stared at me not knowing what to do. The next day, I was trying to pick up something that had fallen into our pond. I was so intent on the object that I didn’t realize that a squirrel was sitting at the edge of the pond trying to get a drink. As I reached, I almost touched the squirrel, we saw each other for the first time just as I was reaching for the object in the water and we both jumped. I screamed and jumped back and the squirrel jumped off the edge of the pool and ran across the street chattering the whole way and for about 15 minutes afterwards. It has been a buggy and a squirrely week to say the least!!

Just a note that as much as we are dry and hot at this time, we in this area understand how well off we are and have been keeping all of our neighbors in the path of the hurricanes and wildfires in our thoughts and prayers. May God be with you at this very difficult time, and may you not be burdened with more challenges than you are able to handle.

Sept. 11, 2017 Message to the Methodist Ladies Aid

I was asked a few weeks ago if I would speak to the Methodist Ladies Aid for their September bring a friend night. I agreed and since it was the 16th Anniversary of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon and the one that was maneuvered to a field in PA, I decided to do the following. Thoughts and prayers with the families of those who were lost on this day, including those who were misguided enough to instigate the attack.

Verse for this evening is: Isaiah 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

I will start by giving you a little more information about myself: As many of you know, I was born right here in Eureka. My parents were Raymond and Patricia Knoepfle. I grew up on a farm south of Artas (here I mentioned by name those in the room who were close neighbors) and then in Herreid were I graduated from high school a few years back. I married James Haak who is from the Hull area which is a little south of Strasburg. We have lived in Eagle Butte, South Dakota and Jamestown, North Dakota before we moved back to Herreid.

When Mavis first called, I asked her what you were looking for in terms of a topic, and she more or less said whatever. After the second time she called and I agreed to come here, I hung up the phone and thought, what on earth will I say? But I do remember she hinted that maybe I could talk about how I came to be here at St. Paul’s at this time in my life.

Before I tell you anything else, I have to mention that I have just spent the last couple of days watching the coverage of the Hurricane in Florida and I don’t mean just the nightly news or a couple of hours of the coverage between doing this or that. I must be one, of the people, who gives that sort of coverage good ratings because I become glued to the television in events like that. I spent time watching the one in Houston too, but that coverage was not quite as intense. Anyway it reminded me of a few years ago watching the events of Katrina. And from there I began to think of all those other major events that have happened throughout the years.

So here is where I want to begin tonight. When I looked at the calendar, and I realized that today it is the 16th anniversary of the day when the planes flew into the towers in New York City and the Pentagon and the fourth plane which landed in a field in Somerset County, PA. It is safe to say that was the worst attack on the United States by outsiders since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This was one of those days that many of us will remember exactly where we were when we first heard about it. I remember that I was headed for the Prairie Pioneer office in Pollock and saw it on the Today Show as I was getting ready to leave. We heard about it only from reports on the radio the rest of the day because we had no TV in the office.

The more I got to thinking about this idea of where were you when, I started to think of other times other events that were so overwhelming that you always remember where you were when you heard about them.

Some that come to mind for me were:

Nov. 22, 63—JFK  I remember sitting on the couch watching my mother change my baby brother’s diaper as we watched the evening news report.

April 4, 68—MLKing, Jr. I was riding in car in the front between my mother and someone and we heard it on the car radio. I remember saying oh good and my mother asking what I meant and I sort of indicated that I thought we didn’t like people who were different, and I think maybe after that conversations were a little different, though maybe it was that I finally understood about accepting all people.

June 5, 68—Bobby Kennedy, I watched this on the little black and white TV in the kitchen of the farm house. It devastated me. I was just starting to understand politics and what he stood for, I was 11 and this was a big deal to me.

July of 1969 Moonwalk—Saw it on that same black/white small tv at the farm…I remember that some did not believe we were on the moon, some thought they were in a studio in the southwestern part of the US.

More recently, Aug. 31, 97 death of Princess Di I was out in the flower garden when I heard.

More personally, Dec. 31, 63, the death of my brother. I remember my father came screaming into the house when he found his body at the end of the silo’s auger.

Friday of Labor Day weekend in 1985. I was in Eagle Butte out on the football field with my PE class. The principal came and got me and said there was a phone call that I had to take. It was the news of the car accident 9 months and many surgeries later took away my grandmother Freda. I still dislike phone calls in school.

As I think about these dates and others that were memorable in my life or in anyone’s life, I wonder if we remember the day and the place where we were when we made a public or at least a conscious decision to follow Christianity. Do we know where we were when we decided to accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior? I remember attending Sunday School and especially I enjoyed vacation Bible School. A couple of weeks ago in church we sang “Onward Christian Soldiers” and that was always the song we sang walking in from the outside steps to the opening session. I remember having a day when I raised my hand during the opening session of VBS, and while the others went downstairs to their classes, I had a short meeting with the minister about what that meant to raise my hand and that I wanted to accept Christ, and we had a prayer and that was that.

Now what I experienced in VBS, is not something that we really do as part of our denomination. We normally leave that sort of soul searching and commitment for confirmation in our church. I went through confirmation classes as part of the Herreid Yoked Parish which included the Peace Lutheran Church the United Methodist Church and First Congregational where I was confirmed as a freshman in high school. Only the Lutheran Congregation is left there today.

Let me just say that church was always an important place for me. Besides what I have already shared, I always enjoyed helping out in our church as a youngster even if it was washing dished during after the meal we had at Mission Fest. Here I paused to explain how I was always about 10 years too young to have an opinion while being part of the women’s group, which was true in every place except Eagle Butte where young women were welcomed with open arms. I even told how I had been “taught” to make a ham bun for a funeral in Jamestown until I told the lady that my mother did catering and I had helped a time or two.

In high school I was part of youth group and as such was able to attend a National Luther League Convention in Houston at the AstroDome and that was a great experience, but don’t get me wrong, just because I was active in church, I wasn’t a goody two shoes, but I always felt a tug of some kind.

Later when I got to know the Bible better I was intrigued by the story of young Samuel in I Samuel chapter 3 when he kept hearing a voice and kept going into Eli asking what he wanted until Eli finally realized that Samuel was being called by God, and Eli told him to go back to his own room and the next time he heard the call to answer God and listen to what he was called to do.

College for me was Jamestown College [now University of Jamestown] a private Presbyterian College. I went there with the idea of being a teacher and a coach, and so I majored in Health, Physical Education and Recreation and joined the volleyball and track teams. It was the time of title IX and because I really liked sports, I thought this was what I would always want to do. Yet somehow that wasn’t enough and I also took a second major in Religion/Philosophy with the idea that maybe, someday, down the line, I would come back to that idea.

Over the years I was on different boards or held offices in the churches we belonged to. James and I were the youth leaders in Jamestown and I was even held some offices at the state level for our church then a program opened up for lay people to go through training to become licensed to help our churches find someone to fill the pulpits while the regular ministers were gone for vacations or meetings or whatever reasons, and I decided to participate and I did pulpit supply around North Dakota while we lived in Jamestown and in a few area churches when we moved back here.

You know that saying about when God closes a door he opens a window. I think that has been going on most of my life, but I was not paying attention. Every time something about my coaching or teaching career didn’t go exactly as planned, I would pick up and try something else. I often told myself it was just me getting bored and moving on. Well the last time that I taught full time was in Mobridge the year 2010-11. Our youngest daughter was a sophomore and we would have to leave Herreid every morning at 7 a.m. sharp and often were not home till 9 or 10 at night. That year they were redoing Main Street in Herreid and it was foggy most mornings and often dark when we left. There were times I would have to get out of the car and walk in front of it to see if the road was open. (I gave lots more details here, but maybe some other time)

Then the winter was a series of snow storms and I think I finally realized the God wasn’t closing a door, this time God was slamming a window shut and opening up a set of patio doors and pushing me through. It was time to listen to God’s call for me, and I am very glad that it worked out as it did. I am lucky that I am still able to work with youngsters while doing a little substituting, but I really don’t miss the hassle of teaching full time.

My point of my telling this story about myself is that God has a plan for all of us. Jeremiah 29:11, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Yes the historical context of this verse was for the Israelites when they were in exile, [read Jeremiah 29:10-14] but this passage is also for us to know that God really does care for all of us for each of us, and that we need to take time to listen to what those plans are so that we don’t spend our whole lives running in circles trying to figure out who we are and what we should be doing.

This past week I came upon a line from a book that I think I will have to order. The author, Anna Julia Cooper wrote: “One needs occasionally to stand aside from the hum and rush of human interests to hear the voice of God. Sort of like the verse in Psalm 46:10 where it is written, “Be still and know that I am God.” Sometimes we need to take a pause from our normal everyday lives or maybe from the hectic pace that some of us try to keep up, and we need just to listen for the whispers, for the tug and the push of what God is trying to tell us to do or to be. And don’t anyone here say that they are beyond doing anything anymore because they are retired. I come from a family that was taught by our matriarchs, that if you are still here God isn’t done with you yet, or at least there is something else that you are needed to do. I ended with a big thank you for them having me. It was a good experience for me and a wonderful night of getting to know some women better.

Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 more garden

James in the garden picking tomatoes.

From the look of the recent blog posts, you would think that our life centers around the garden. Well yes it does and no it doesn’t. We realize that each day we need to go out and pick what is ready, but so far it has been the same old things each time. This morning James got up long before me and used his time to dig potatoes. I think he said he dug 32 hills. Good grief I didn’t realize we had that many. Well his answer was that was the second time he had dug that many and he has 2 more times to go. Add to that the idea that I dug about 4 one day and Paulina dug up some, too, but I don’t know how many she did. I would think we should have potatoes by the gunny sacks full, but not the case. We have three, 3 gallon pails about 3/4 full in the garage, a few in the pantry and those from today drying beside the house. (There is a picture of this same view on my post of Sept. 4) I guess there are not that many per plants, but they sure are good. This picture shows the current view of the garden. I took this while standing on the dike to the east of our house. I don’t have the screen wide enough to catch the corners so you can’t see the sunflower on the northeast edge. I think the deer has been by to nibble at it as several leaves are eaten off. I am glad to see the fence is keeping them out this year.

I did not help with the digging or the tomato picking. I took pictures of the butterflies on the zinnias. We have an amazing amount of butterflies in our area this year. I don’t, though, ever remember them being on the highways like they are now. It almost makes me sad to be driving because of how many I have killed. I want to yell out the window for them to move to the ditch so they are safe. I really don’t get why they just sit on the road until you get close to them then they fly up. I would think that the sunflowers and soybeans and corn in the fields would be more attractive to them, but I am sure they will head farther south soon.

Roger the photo-bomber

One day last week and I don’t remember which, perhaps it was Wednesday when James was at his city council meeting, I took some time to carry a chair and a table up the stairs to my room and out to the top deck. It is probably blowing over in the wind as I write this which is not good because the table has rather fragile legs. Anyway, I have wanted this little set up here all summer and I kept waiting for help in moving something here or getting something different to put here. Well nothing like a Little Red Hen, “I will do it myself attitude.” Sadly I still have not spent much time there. Oh yes, I was just about to sit there and relax on Wednesday night when the call came from the campers, now I remember. I ended up going over to the campsite and collecting from a few of them. James and I caught the other ones on Thursday just at the beginning of the Patriots vs. the Chiefs. Oh my goodness! I have never seen a TV on the outside of a camper before, wow! I told James we should just put the house up for sale and buy a camper when he retires. We can live in it and take off with it anytime we want. No more hotel rooms just bring our own place with us and go wherever we want. He is still not on board with the plan. I will keep thinking about how to make this work. Well, time to get to the message so I will call it good for today.

Prayers for those in the path of the storms today and all days!!!

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