I had an ag project when I was 13 and I raised rabbits.  I built my hutches along the path to the outhouse and I fed and watered them every morning on my way back to the house.  I ran into a problem when one of my rabbits died and I kept right on feeding and watering it.  The chipmunks were stealing some of the rabbet pellets, there was some evaporation of the water and the rabbit appeared to resting comfortably in the back of the cage.  My dad figured out what was going on and he was going to see how long it took me to figure it out.  After 3 or 4 days, he couldn’t take any longer and I got called on the carpet.  He said that he couldn’t fault me for not feeding and watering my rabbits but that there was a difference between that and actually taking care of them.
There are of course broader implications to that.  There is a difference between bringing home a paycheck and taking care of our families.  There is a difference between providing food and clothes and taking care of our children.  There is a difference between going to church every Sunday and taking care of our church.  I think we are all guilty at times of just “feeding our rabbits”.   I realize that none of us are perfect, but we can all try just a little harder. 
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Wednesday With Morrie

Breakfast in my younger days was always about as exciting as a hyphenated
sentence.  It was pretty much “eat your oatmeal and then you need to get
out of here”.  There were a few times along the way when I went fishing
with the boys and we stopped for breakfast to load up on enough carbs so
that we could fish through the afternoon.  We ate our way through big
stacks of hotcakes, mounds of hash browns, several eggs, link sausages,
orange juice and lots of coffee while we talked about the fish that we
almost caught last time and the ones that we were are going to catch after
breakfast.  It never occurred to me that when I retired, breakfast would
become a social event..  Now my life is church on Sunday and breakfast
with with Morrie on Wednesday.  I know, but Tuesday mornings, I sit in
with my writing group.

We meet Ginny and Morrie at the Pancake House in Longview at 9:15.  We are
usually five or ten minutes early and they show up precisely at 9:15. The
Pancake House tends to be crowded and it isn’t unusual to have to wait
five or ten minutes for a table.  There is no waiting next door at the
Burger King but it just wouldn’t be the same.  We generally order the same
breakfast every week from the same waitresses.  It’s three coffees and
five waters (my wife orders a double).

My sister-in-law usually orders two eggs over easy, hash browns with malt
vinegar on the side, very, very crisp bacon, and a dry english muffin with
butter and marionberry jam on the other side.  My brother-in-law always
orders a big stack of pancakes with eggs over medium and very, very, very
crisp bacon.  My wife Evie, has a vegetable omelet with swiss cheese,
salsa on the side and sourdough toast.  I dependably order a small stack
of pancakes, eggs over hard and crisp bacon.

The Pancake House is fairly noisy but the buzz insulates you from your
neighbors and you can carry on a focused conversation.  We usually chat
about what the grandchildren are up to, what is blooming in the garden and
what book we are reading.  Morrie saves the daily pages of his Rubes
calendar to bring to breakfast  for show and tell and then h leaves them
for his favorite waitress.  Rubes cartoons are more  than a little strange
and I am not always sure why I find them so funny.  Breakfast usually runs
about twenty bucks for two but this isn’t just food, it’s a social event.
After we finish eating we go grocery shopping and then pick up our mail at
the post office on our way home.

Everything is relative and the rest of the week, its a half a cup of Wheat
Chex doused with a little splash of 2% milk, let the dog out and the cat
in and then its a small pot of coffee while I check my e-mail.   Variety
is the spice of life.

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Can You Canoe

There is a “canoe trail” on the Upper Klamath Lake and my friend Stephen and I set out to find the elusive Least Bittern.  He brought his canoe and life jackets but they were size large and I am bigger than that.  I was able to put the jacket on but I couldn’t fasten it.  I put my coat on over the life jacket but then I couldn’t zip it up.  I sat in the front of the canoe and I probably looked a lot like the big bear that Grizzly Adams had in the beer ads  However, that bear was trained.  I probably weighed about a hundred pounds more than Stephen and we were a long way from having an even keel.  He was still able to reach the water with his paddle in the back but there was very little freeboard up front.
The water was cold and deep and if we had tipped over, we would probably have had a serious problem with hypothermia. Stephen made the prudent suggestion that we paddle back to the dock.  The only problem with that was, we were now heading into the wind.  My coat opened up like the sail on a Chinese junk and I didn’t have a clue on how to tack against the wind.  It was a bit of a struggle getting back to the dock and I always thought that would have made a great movie.   It was quite a memorable trip but Stephen was never up for a sequel.  
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Wallowa Lake


We camped for a few days during the latter part of June, in the Wallowa Lake Lodge in Northeastern Oregon.  A little comfort isn’t wasted on us seniors.  Our major objective was to check out the flowers on the Zumwalt Prairie and the “Oregon Alps”.  We saw large patches of Pink Fairies “Clarkia pulchella”, collected by Lewis and name for Clark, several species of blue penstemons and some Mariposa Lilies “Calochortus macrocarpus” along with some other prairie flowers.


Cousin Larry and his wife and my wife and I hiked up Chief Joseph Trail near the lodge looking for Mountain Lady’s Slipper orchids “Cypridium montanum” and there were some growing along the trail.  We also saw some Bead Lilies “Clintonia uniflora” and some Pink Wintergreen “Pyrola asarifolia”.  


We went on up the trail and we were looking for some Yellow Columbines “Aquilegia flavescens” and managed to find some.  We came to a fork in the road and of course, we took the one less traveled.  Our wives meanwhile, had stayed on the main trail.  We didn’t go very far before we were entertained by an approaching thunder and lightning storm.  We were wearing hats but we didn’t have our coats and we took shelter under the pine trees.  While were standing there an old doe came down the trail and she stopped about twenty-five feet away to look us over.  Apparently, she didn’t like our smell because she let out a big snort and high-tailed it out of there.


Meanwhile, Larry and I had gotten as wet as we were going to get and we headed back down the trail to the car.  The ladies got there first but they didn’t have a key so they waited out the hail storm in an outhouse with a metal roof.  After the rain let up, they walked back to the lodge.  We had a key and we took the car.  I think we were wet enough that we could have stood in the lake to dry out but we didn’t drown and we didn’t rust.  It has occurred to me after that trip that there might be some merit to carrying one of those light weight disposable ponchos in my camera bag or perhaps, even two or three.          



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I saw photos of Steptoe Butte and Palouse Falls on a calendar and knew that I needed to take a trip to Eastern Washington for a closer look.  The Butte was named after Col. Edward Steptoe who fought (and lost) a battle against our native population at nearby Pine Creek in 1858.  There is a paved road that spirals up to the parking lot at the top.  The view point is approximately a 1,000 feet above the surrounding rolling hills that were created by the ancient floods.  The farmers fields provide a remarkable patchwork quilt of colors and textures.  We saw a fellow take off from the parking lot on his hang glider while we were there and reportedly spooked a moose out of a patch of trees.  I never thought I would say this but he saw a moose, loose on the Palouse.
We stayed over night at Colfax and drove to Palouse Falls the next morning.  The falls is very impressive and it drops about 180′ into a large pool.  A man went over the falls in a kayak to get into the Guinness Book of Records but I don’t know why.  We watches a Prairie Falcon soaring below us in the canyon and then it soared just overhead.  We also got a good look at a couple of Yellow Bellied Marmots.  They waddled across the trail just ahead of us and then stretched out on the rocks to sun themselves. 
We journeyed south through Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater and then east toward Enterprise.  We turned south on Summit Road on Mt Emily and enjoyed 43 miles of prime wildflowers along the roadway.  This is one of our favorite viewing areas and we saw our wild Peony and Mountain Ladyslippers along with many other native flowers.   The only time that we were ever disappointed on this road was when there was three feet of snow. 
We stayed the night in Pendleton and the next morning we went south on Hwy 395 and then took the Hepner Hwy back to I-84.  We crossed the Columbia to Washington and drove up Dalles Mountain Road and went over the hill and took the Lyle-Goldendale Road back to Hwy 14.  Then it was west to Stevenson and across the bridge to Cascade Locks to I-84 and home to Gresham.   
Lots of miles on this trip (a little over a thousand), great scenery and wonderful wildflowers.  You     have to stop and enjoy the beauty while you can because we may not pass by this way again. 
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Ellensburg 7/6/2012

The Washington Native Plant Society put on a workshop at the Lazy F Ranch near Ellensburg, WA. on how to identify the various species of Indian Paintbrush and Buckwheat.  These genera are difficult and the consensus seems to be that they are much easier to identify if you know which species are found in the area.  We arrived on a Friday and photographed a swarm of checkerspot butterflies puddling along the Manastash Road on our way to the camp.
The Lazy F Ranch is a church camp and we stayed in a log cabin and slept on bunk beds in our sleeping bags.  We ate breakfast in the cafeteria and fixed ourselves sack lunches for our mid-day meal.  We were on the road by 9:00 and carpooled to Clockum Pass with stops along the way to see the wildflowers blooming along the road  This was an all-day excursion and we returned to camp for dinner which was followed by a lecture on the species of Indian Paintbrush native to the Northwest.
Sunday, we had a two hour lab on buckwheats and then we carpooled to Table Mountain.  We made several stops along the road and identified five different species of buckwheat along with some other wildflowers.  It’s lots of fun being out in the field with experts, looking at wildflowers and in a group like this, you don’t have to worry about being viewed as odd.  After our excursion was over, we drove to Leavenworth and slept in real beds.
Monday morning we hiked up Chiwaukum Creek in search of Tweedy’s Lewisia.  This is a gorgeous rock garden plant with salmon to apricot flowers about an inch in diameter.  We found the plant but it had already bloomed out.  Along the trail we saw some Lyall’s Mariposa Lillies along with some other pretties.  There were also some butterflies flitting about and Larry coaxed a Zerene Fritiilary onto his finger and I took a picture of it sucking up perspiration with its tongue.
We headed south through the rolling hills of Eastern Washington and stopped at Goldendale for our traditional meal of a Southwest Salad at Mc Donald’s.  Whether or not an old flower bum deserves a trip like this can be argued but the joy of being there can not.      
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Burn Permit

CRFPD Burn Permit Rules & Regulations


These are the rules and regulations you must follow for your burn permit to remain valid.


To renew your permit for next burn season visit www.clatskaniefire.org

To check if it is a Burn day; call 503-728-2131 or visit the Burn Permit page of www.clatskaniefire.org/burn-permit

The permittee must take the following precautions:


1. You must have a charged garden hose and shovel at all times.

2. The fire must NOT be left unattended at any time until fully extinguished.

3. All combustible materials must be cleared at least 10 feet around burning area.

4. Burning will be confined to daylight hours on days when burning is allowed.

5. Burning is not allowed during FIRE SEASON, which is generally June 30th – October 15th.

6. A firebreak shall be constructed around the burn site to prevent fire from creeping to adjoining fuels.

7. Burning shall not be conducted next to adjoining vehicles or structures.

8. Burning barrels shall have a proper wire mesh screen in place during use.

9. These permits are valid for the controlled burning of yard debris such as; leaves, sticks, branches and wood.

10. Paper and cardboard should be recycled.

11. Have on site a copy of your valid burn permit.


The following condition(s) constitute “Illegal Burning”:


Domestic open burning DOES NOT ALLOW burning of the following: garbage, plastic, wire insulation, automobile parts, asphalt, petroleum treated materials or products, rubber products, animal remains, animal or vegetable matter resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, or service of food or any other material which normally emits dense smoke or noxious odors.


1. No valid burning permit.

2. Any fire that is no longer under control.

3. Burning on a “No Burn Day”.

4. Burning of commercial or industrial waste.

5. Not complying with requirements above.

6. Burning of wet materials creating excessive smoke.

7. Smoke drifting creating a road hazard to county roads or state highways.


A fire in violation of any of the above rules may be extinguished at the discretion of the Fire Chief, his deputies, the Oregon Department of Forestry, or Clatskanie Police.


Property owners and operators who are conducting illegal burning may be cited and/or fined for such action.  Costs for fire suppression may be charged, as well being held financially responsible for any fire damage.

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Marvin Kellar


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75630 Meserve Rd10/29


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503 556-0167


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All Burn Permits expire approximately June 30th of the current season.




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Attending Church

When I worked at the hospital, the Chaplin came down to my lab and told me that he really hated to have to be the one to tell me, but he had to relay a compliment to me.  I had done a scan on an aids patient and his sister, who was one of our nurses wanted to thank me for treating him as a human being.  The Chaplin also told me that that he regarded me as a lay minister in my corner of the hospital.  I was surprised by that because I never talked religion with my patients.  It does suggest however, that our ministry is embedded in our day to day actions.

I lived in Fern Hill when I was little and we couldn’t afford to go to Church.  Gas was 20 cents a gallon and we lived 5 miles out of town.  We moved to Portland when I was 6 and I went to Sunday School at a nearby Presbyterian Church.  After that we went to Idaho and I went to a summer Mormon Bible school with my cousins.  We moved back to Rainier when I was in the 6th grade and I attended the Methodist Sunday School and Church until I graduated from high school.  I went to a Church of Christ summer camp with my cousins when I was 13 and was baptised by that church in Oregon City.  Youth for Christ rallies were popular in Portland when I was in high school and my friends and I attended a number of those.

I didn’t attend church during my middle years but I came back after I retired, because my mother needed a ride (or at least that is what she said).  I enjoyed the people here and it is a nice feeling to be around people that are kind.  We are probably a relatively liberal church.  We accept everyone as being God’s children and we don’t believe in stoning people who don’t agree with us.  My religious beliefs are simple, Love your God with all your heart and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.  I also believe that kindness is its own reward and we don’t accrue a preset number of merit badges to go to heaven, that can only be achieved by the Grace of God.

We were married in this church and this is the church where my grandmother, my mother and my aunts attended and this is where my friends are.  Thank you and God bless!

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Beginnings (By Ted Loder)

Help Me to Believe in Beginnings | Ted Loder

God of history and of my heart,
so much has happened to me during these whirlwind days:
I’ve known death and birth;
I’ve been brave and scared;
I’ve hurt, I’ve helped;
I’ve been honest, I’ve lied;
I’ve destroyed, I’ve created;
I’ve been with people, I’ve been lonely;
I’ve been loyal, I’ve betrayed;
I’ve decided, I’ve waffled;
I’ve laughed and I’ve cried.
You know my frail heart and my frayed history –
and now another day begins.

O God, help me to believe in beginnings
and in my beginning again,
no matter how often I’ve failed before.

Help me to make beginnings:
to begin going out of my weary mind
into fresh dreams,
daring to make my own bold tracks
in the land of now;
to begin forgiving
that I may experience mercy;
to begin questioning the unquestionable
that I may know truth
to begin disciplining
that I may create beauty;
to begin sacrificing
that I may make peace;
to begin loving
that I may realize joy.

Help me to be a beginning to others,
to be a singer to the songless,
a storyteller to the aimless,
a befriender of the friendless;
to become a beginning of hope for the despairing,
of assurance for the doubting,
of reconciliation for the divided;
to become a beginning of freedom for the oppressed,
of comfort for the sorrowing,
of friendship for the forgotten;
to become a beginning of beauty for the forlorn,
of sweetness for the soured,
of gentleness for the angry,
of wholeness for the broken,
of peace for the frightened and violent of the earth.

Help me to believe in beginnings,
to make a beginning,
to be a beginning,
so that I may not just grow old,
but grow new
each day of this wild, amazing life
you call me to live
with the passion of Jesus Christ.

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Renewal – poem

I don’t know how many snow flakes it takes to form a drop of water on a willow leaf before it drips down onto the forest floor or how many drops must accumulate before they form a rivulet which becomes part of a larger stream. I do know that little streams burble, gurgle and dance over rocks and logs to merge with other streams to eventually become rivers.

We dam the rivers to create reservoirs and divert the water through massive generators to produce electricity to power our cities and factories. We divert water to irrigate the farmland to grow our crops. The water that doesn’t evaporate in the hot sun returns to the river.

The river, much to busy to enjoy anyone’s company, flows past laughing children and cooing lovers on its way to the ocean. The water slows and widens as it merges into an ocean that has been receiving the flow from rivers since time began.

The river water loses its identity in an ocean that is too large for us to measure and our initial drop of water may reside there for an eternity. Legend has it that water evaporates from the ocean and returns to us as a snowflake that lands on a willow leaf before it drips onto the forest floor.

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