Snapshot of Grandpa

Les, 1973 typical pose

Grandpa stopped over to the house one day to say Hi. I remember grabbing the camera and taking this shot. He posed just so, and gave his usual squinty eye look.

Everyone knows that look, it means he’s thinking something and best beware.

In this picture he is the age I am now. If I look it is possible for me to see his sisters in those eyes, something that never occurred to me then.

Old Spice, that’s what he always smelled like.

This man took me fishing down at We-Que-Ton-Sing, six-wheeling at the dunes, boating on Lake Gogebic, golfing in Harbor Springs. Many times I watched him working out in the garage or fixing things up at the cabin.

So many times he waved to us from his office as we walked to school through the snow.

I thought he would live forever, this man I adored.

This was the last time I would take his picture.

He left us way too soon.

a little musical kindness

In January of 2005 while participating on several online forums, a gentleman was discussing various forms of music with me

The discussion turned to the topic of different types of flutes and it ended with him asking if he could play a song for me

Not a fan of talking to strangers on the phone, he then suggested he could call at a certain time and leave the song on the answering machine

The time arrived and I awaited the call

He started by stating who he was in a shakey voice and then he played an old hymn on the strange flute

Oh the feelings that swirled as I listened to his recording

As quickly as he had started he ended and left kind words

I never knew his real name or where he lived,

but such a sweet kindness to leave a song for a stranger



Go Get My Sticks

Snell's Bush church, graveyard Arnold HowseI didn’t always use them. I’d never seen it done. Dowsing was for crazy old loons wasn’t it?

Our family spends an inordinate amount of time hunting down old family cemeteries and graves, hoping to find a piece of ourselves. (The above is my Dad at Snells Bush Church Cemetery in New York)

One day at work in Burlington, Iowa, a co-worker said she was going with a group to learn to dowse so they could find the graves in a Paupers Field. This interested me and was the start of many small experiments with “the sticks,” as we call them.

Thay came in very handy when Gideon couldn’t talk to tell us what was wrong, or when deciding which oil to use to help heal.

Sometimes we take them with us out into the desert while petroglyping so as to know to stay away from shallow Native graves under big rocks. 578597_10152269243240606_2144908199_n

Sometimes, like in the above picture up Diamond Fork Canyon, they all go bonkers and then you know to leave it be.

They come in handy when a remote gets thrown in the garbage by tiny hands or finding most missing items.

For mine I prefer a cheap hangar bent at just the right places and cut down to size.

I may tell of a few other times when some rods appeared just when needed but that is for another story.

My kids all know just where to look when they hear the words, “Go get my sticks!”


Medicine Wheels and High Country Roads

644028_10151249589035606_1662699668_nIf you drive high enough in Wyoming you wind through the Big Horn Mountains until you reach a point where the rock looks like Hopiland and then, there you are.

Hike for a bit up this nice little road and you come out at the place where earth meets heaven and prayers take flight.

Even on a peaceful morn you can hear the light beating of drums on the wind and the song of creation rises above the clouds and you envision circle dances all around as the spirits of long ago twirl their blankets along.

One day, it is known, someone will sing the perfect song and with a rainstorm to cleanse the bare earth, she too will sing the song of everlasting peace.


My first experience feeling energy

546127_10151153849390606_1289713639_nMy mother was very sick for the last many years of her life. After trying many Doctors my sister Annette suggested more alternative medicine. Most of us were not for this idea as none had been able to help and even mom was getting tired trying new things. I was called to go down to Orem to see what this new quack was about.

From the moment he entered the home I started in with the questions. Mom was in her bed and he was standing across the room from me. I am sure he had been in this uncomfortable position before so he knew a bit about how to handle it.

He stopped what he was trying to do and dealt with me instead.

He said, “Hold up your hand.” He then proceeded to put up his hand as if he had a baseball in it and threw the air at me as if it were real. My middle three fingers bent backward as if a fireball had just passed by.

I stood there shocked and amazed, here was something I needed to understand. Here was an answer to my prayers for my son.

This was a door opening.


Sonny Boy

1991 08 00 Jared, Shilo & Sonny BoyMany moons ago, a little girl wanted a pony, as many little girls are wont to do.

After wandering around Amish auctions and traveling about, her mothers friend brought them an untamed pony.

We named him Sonny Boy.

He taught us many lessons in the short time we had him.

We learned a little about horse feed.

We learned he loved Edelweiss, so we sang it. A lot.

We learned about leads and bridles and saddles and riding bareback.

We found you really ought to have your own land for him to graze upon.

We learned about hay and manure and good boots.

We watched him get fixed and saw his pain.

There were many other lessons we never would have learned about people had we not had him.

If we ever get a pony again, for his sake and for ours we will make sure there is good training of both the pony and those who care for the pony.

Good training is what the saga of Sonny Boy taught us the most.

Good training is everything.

Family recipe mystery


My Great Great Grandfather James Lincoln Price worked in the confectionary business and up until a few weeks ago family lore said he sold his recipe for cough drops to the Smith Brothers.

James was born in 1862 in Muncie, Indiana.

According to research my cousin Thomas Duvernay did the Smith Brothers did buy their recipe from another company,  but in 1852.

It seems worthwhile to try to pin down his life so we might find the pieces that do connect in this family history tidbit.

His obituary states, ” Taking up the confectionary business while in his youth, he became an expert, continuing in that trade until his death. He moved from Muncie to Lansing, and soon became prominent in city affairs. He was a member of the govenors guard from 1888 to 1894. From 1892 to 1895 he was general manager of the Lansing Confectionery company. In 1895 he moved to Denver, Col., and remained in that city for 13 years, moving back to Lansing in 1908. He has since lived in that city.”

Our family has a booklet that James used which says:

“Property of The Hewitt Candy Co, Nov 12, 1896, J. L. Price, foreman” – it has several recipes in faded pencil.

The Hewitt’s bought the Breon Confectionery Co. in Denver, which was founded in 1880.

James’ Lansing Confectionery company address was 409 North Washington Ave., Lansing, Michigan.

James Lincoln Price died July 4, 1915 in Lansing, Michigan.

I 1 James Lincoln Price

Now, it is very possible that someone in the family said that James cough drops tasted similar to the Smith Brothers.

Another possibility may be that he came upon the recipe from his wife Minnie Pearl Main’s family.

Minnie’s uncles, Burton and Fred Main owned the Main Brothers News Depot in Hastings, Michigan,  which also had a confectionery as shown here:

A X Burton and Fred's newstand flier A X Burton and Fred's newstand handoutThe recipe booklet that James had did use a lot of liquor in the confections and it probably had it’s place in the cough drops he sold in Lansing.

I shall return and update this post as new material develops.