Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The joys of December 2012

Potato water bread
Three weeks ago I used the LARGE amount of potato water from Thanksgiving dinner at Holly's home to create 6 loaves of wheat bread.  I thought they looked WONDERFUL!  I hadn't made bread in almost 2 years!

Jane and her gingerbread house

At cub scouts this week we created gingerbread houses out of pre-fab, cub-leader made graham cracker houses and sticky frosting glue with many different kids of candy.  Lots of fun and of course, I got to do one.

Ghost Fleet of Benicia, CA
King and I road the motorcycle on this sunny, but cold, day to Benicia on the Bay and observed the remaining battle ships from World War 11 that had been stored here with hopes of keeping them 'ship-shape' for a future need.
Decaying  Soldiers
These stately old battle ships have been decaying and giving off all kinds of pollution into the bay and then to the ocean.  About 2 years ago it was decided to start scrapping them to rid the water of the horrible oil leaking, lead paint, etc.  Many have been transported away and torn apart and recycled.

After viewing these great ships, we headed back along the Marsh Road and stopped at one watery place and looked at Black-necked stilts, Great egrets, Shoveler Ducks, Mallards, Cinnamon Teals,  and in the distance, Tundra Swan.  Love the Grizzly Island Marsh and estuary.

Haydn,Hinckley, and Grandma Jane
Sunday morning the Bennions invited me to their home for Christmas Breakfast and to exchange Christmas presents.  The food was Holly's usual special feast and we had fun opening presents.  All of us will be gone for the Holidays but we will have some living at and checking into our homes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dog Sledding with Blaine 2003-7

Blaine Hawkes and I married in September 2003, and we lived in his home at the edge of St Anthony, Idaho at 4th north and 3rd west. That winter he realized that I loved dogs and snow. Blaine had created dog sleds and Siberian dog teams most of his life as a family hobby, but after his youngest son left home, he gave his teams away and kept only 2 of the many sleds he had made over the years. We discussed this fact and decided that we would try to do this adventure again.
His philosophy was that "If you build it, they will come." So he built a dog trailer and a large kennel. (We later named this 20 dog large kennel “HAWKES HAPPY HUSKY HOTEL” and, besides the dogs and sleds, this became Blaine’s pride and joy) Sure enough, through contacts in many areas, we slowly built up a dog sled "team" with dogs that had NEVER been sled dogs! These dogs were mostly Siberian Huskies from Idaho and Montana.

Is there anything cutier than huskie pups?

Caden and Catrice holding 2 month old puppies

We had fun breeding them, gaining 8 puppies who grew into lovely, friendly, but not well-trained sled dogs. We never did have really good lead dogs. Blaine ordered harnesses, lead ropes, booties, snaps, and much more sled dog paraphernalia. He was having a great time with a great hobby. I was as well. This activity was filled with wonderful winter experiences. I found out that it is also great summer exercise as we had summer training carts.
Catrice leading eight 2-month old puppies as Blaine rides the sled

Jane and Blaine with Cheyne's 4 pups

Napping pups

I found out that it is also great summer exercise as we had summer training carts.

Three carts, 10 dogs, and 5 handlers on Redwood Road north of St Anthony.   The dogs have booties on them

Another must-have item was a sled & dog travel trailer that would house the 10+ dogs, at least 4 sleds, a snow machine, and equipment. Therefore, we bought a 14 foot cargo trailer and a 15 passenger white van. We later substituted a 9 passenger vehicle.We had the equipment which resulted in great fun with family at "The Place" at Horseshoe Flats in Drummond, Idaho. The Hawkes family had homesteaded this land in the late 1800's, and Blaine was born on it.

5 dogs, Blaine, 3 carts, and two handlers in Cemetery by Snake River in St Anthony

Blaine, Olga and two sons,  and summer training cart  

At one time we had two brothers helping before the girls came along.  Here we are in the winter with 10 dogs and two sleds on Redwood Road north of St Anthony.


One HUGE yearly event was the Ashton Dog Races that are still being held each winter. My Idaho granddaughter, Catrice, and Utah grandson, Chris, both entered their own teams. What a privilege to follow in Grandpa Blaine’s dog sled tracks!

Chris Morford racing with his three dogs.  Dad, Marsh, helping to the right

Another place we enjoyed was the Big Springs trail from the warming hut to Big Springs and back through a circular 12 mile trail. Moose was often seen while quietly riding.  Following is a much loved story of one of our adventures.

Jane on Big Springs run with grandchildren in the basket

     In March of 2007 Blaine decided on a Big Springs trip.  I was all for it.  At 7:30 am, before we left for Island Park, we prayed for discernment and safety for our trek with the dogs. This is standard and wise practice because dogs, drivers, weather, etc. are ALWAYS unpredictable!

We drove to Mack's Inn, turned right, drove several miles to an official parking lot/warming Hut place, and got out the dogs and sled. The trail was freshly groomed, the snow hard, the air cool, and the sky cloudless! Our 8 dogs were on a high and ran the best they have ever done!

On our way to Big Springs, we saw either a coyote or wolf way off to the right. He sat down to watch us. I kept my eye on him, but he did not approach. At the springs, ducks flew off the pond startling the dogs, and they would have loved to give them chase. We met a man and his son from Texas, a forester, visiting this area for their first time. They loved seeing our team and sled.

On our way again, we circled across the bridge and headed NE for more good trail. In a little while, Blaine asked me if I would like to ride on the back and he IN the basket. So we switched. I love to be on the runners! What a sense of power! The trail, at one point, was a bit slanted, so I got my whole self onto the right runner to help get the sled more centered on the trail.

Just then I slipped and fell off the back. The dogs and Blaine (IN the basket of the sled) kept going right down the road. I yelled, "Whoa," but the dogs are SO well trained -- ;o) -- that they kept on going, and of course, deaf Blaine never heard me! So here I was, alone on a snowy trail, and very little traffic this morning!  After about 2-3 minute, I heard noises and stuck out my thumb.  If I had had lovely legs, I would have lifted a pant leg.  Four snowmobilers came racing along, stopped, and heard my story.  The lead one gave me a ride to catch up with the sled. As we neared, Blaine, riding with much joy, looked over to his right as we approached and started to wave at the snowmobilers. Then he saw me, which gave him a start! He had NO IDEA that I was not riding on the back!

As we rode along side of him, (I thinking that I would get off up ahead and run back to the back of the sled, and the guy asking me, well, was I getting off?  I could just visualize me flying off the snowmobile, John Wayne style onto the runners and gallantly resuming where I had left off!)

However, Blaine raised his hand and then, at 79 years young, proceeded to give us a great, agile, smooth, demonstration on how to get from the basket around to the back of the sled and stand on the runners. (I wished that someone could have videoed that whole event. It could have made it to the Funniest Video program!) Then Blaine stopped the sled and dogs, and I got on. We thanked my rescuers and all were on our way.

At the turn-off about 1/4 mile from where we had parked our van and cargo trailer, two other snowmobilers were looking at a map. We stopped for the dogs to go left and then noticed that two people were snowshoeing off to our right with three loose dogs! We had seen these same people and dogs on Monday when we snowmobiled to check out the trail. But on Monday, we did not get to the Big Springs trail until about 1 p.m. That is why we decided to start from home EARLY this morning to avoid them. It was now only about 11 am but there were still there!  Not good for our dogs!

Well, I jumped off and grabbed the lead dogs, but the three loose dogs were curious and ran towards us with their masters giving orders for them to come back. I asked the two guys on the snowmobiles to please help us, and one grabbed our dogs and the other helped get the other dogs away. When all was under control, we helped the guys figure out where they were on the trails. They were from Indiana. I told them that they were answer to prayer!

We mushed into the parking lot at about 11:15 am. After 11 + miles, the dogs were very happy to get in the cargo trailer and lay down!

We realize that we really ARE blessed to live in Idaho with its beauty, clean air, and good water, but even more so we are and were blessed by Heavenly Father in his watchful care of us. These folks came to our aid at just the right time. I could have been stranded for about 1/2 hour until Blaine realized that I was NOT along, and/or our dogs might have gotten into a big fight with those 3 loose dogs!

Blaine and his NEW sled  early December 2007
Soon after the above incident, Blaine decided two things. One was that I was NOT to ride on the back of the sled, but in the basket only! The other was to build another sled, this time ours. He ordered ash wood from the southeast, Black Angus hide from the butcher, and since he had all of the tools necessary, we started on months into a building journey that produced a lovely sled with only home made rawhide for the sides and rawhide and dowel fasteners. In early December 2007, we tried it out at the Big Springs run and were very pleased with the way it traveled.

Lower Mesa falls overlook with Caden, Blaine, Catrice,  Jane, 10 dogs & two sleds  2005
My Idaho grandchildren especially enjoyed this activity. One of our favorite places to dog sled was to Island Park’s Lower Mesa Falls from Bear Gulch and back. We would hook up 10 dogs and two sleds and Catrice, Caden, Blaine, and I would have wonderful, quiet, snowy rides through some of the most beautiful landscape one could witness. The overlook to the falls is awe-inspiring. When cross country skiers or snowmobilers met us, they gave "Thumbs Up" signs and great smiles.

Jane with lead dogs Ring and Dakota at Bear Gultch

Un-hooking the dogs from several sleds at the Big Springs parking lot

On December 15, 2007 Blaine suffered a heart attack and the next day was successfully operated on while 4 stints were placed in his heart. About fifteen minutes after he was taken to his room, as two of his sons approached his bedside, Blaine passed on. This was very sudden and totally unexpected, but I am very sure he was most happy to be with Bonnie. We were also quite pleased that he never had to be in a wheel chair nor a nursing home. What a kindred, happy, adventuresome spirit returned to Heavenly Father. (Are there dog sled rides in heaven?)

Concerning the dogs, we had had several years of young girls being our dog handlers, and as I got ready to leave Idaho for California in the fall if 2008, I gave the dogs to them for their own teams. Some of them are still running in different contests in the Ashton area. My son, Marsh, had a few years before taken our Seppela Siberian dogs, and along with other dogs, created teams of his own in Utah. He took the sled Blaine made, the cargo trailer, bought the 9 passenger van.  He and his son ran sled rides in the Park City area for 3-4 years with a winter entertainment business. Now none of our family is into the dog sled fun, but what an awesome era this was.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

October adventures

Rockville Park wierdness
My friend Jeannie had the day off, so Saturday she, friend Len, and I hiked for 3 hours over at least 1/2 of the perimeter of the large Rockville Park.  Since it was the 27th of October, we found many goulish places being made ready for the park's nighttime haunted walks.  Here is one of a large spider holding a redhaired woman prisoner.

Sprouting Lesson
I was asked to teach the Relief Society women on Oct 11th how to sprout seeds for eating.  Here you can see:  mung bean, lentil, wheat, alfalfa, and other wonderful seeds already sprouted.  They can be used in salads, soups, omletes, bread, meatballs, spegehtti, you name it!  Very easy and good for you since, when sprouted, they have many needed amino acids used in building our bodies.  I supplied information sheets and a plastic mesh for use in either regular or wide mouth canning jars as well as wheat so the women could do their own sprouting.  Several of the gals really have been going to "town" on this knowledge.

Tarek ad Bjorn Barenbroch
In 1993 our family housed Bjron as a German  exchange student for the school year in Rexburg.  He is the same age a Sara.  Last year and now this year he and his first child, Tarek, visited me here in Fairfield for a few days and then went on to visit other friends in the area.  Tarek is teaching his day how to play a marble game our famiy has had for years.  Bjorn is an air traffic controler at the Bremen Air Port in Germany.
                                                                  Dr G's Pumpkin Patch
Politically carved pumpkins
For days before Halloween, many in our ward and neighborhood can be found gutting and carving 500 or more pumpkins donated to Dr Craig Gillespie by Larry at Larry's Produce for his wonderful lighted showing of local talent on Halloween.  Several families make carving these golden objects a family home evening project.  I got to gut many sizes of pumpkins for 3 days.  Below is a very large pumpkin that I opened on the side for someone to create a design on the oposite side.  The inside, or guts, of this pumpkin were so very interesting, like a cave complete with mysterious growth, that I just had to take a picture.   I saved the seeds, some for growing pumpkins in my own garden and some for roasting and then eating.
Rows and rows of lit carved pumpkins decked shelving and tables in the front yard of Dr G's home.  Can you see the snake on the ground that I drilled holes into after cutting and gutting LOTS of small pumpkins?  By 7 p.m. it had a head and a tail, but not yet in this picture.

Costumes and lit pumpkins are the fun of this Halloween night.  The pumpkins are really a sight when seen in the dark.  Since rain was supposed to start at about 6 p.m., tents were erected over ALL of the display.  This is quite a feat:  gutting, carving, placing, getting equipment in place, etc., and Dr G has many helpers.  He also has a pot luck on the night of Halloween for anyone who wants to come with a dish to pass.  He often has about 900 lookers.  Parking is tricky along the narrow Green Valley Road by his home, but the treats are wonderful!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The King and I

My recent trip to the coast.
This past Tuesday my friend, King, said to pack a lunch and when he arrived said, "Dog park, not far." A few weeks ago he had taken me to the Marin County Dog Park and showed me where he and dog BO like to romp. I thought that this trip would be not far from there. HA!
Not Far, my foot! We were on a straight run, 2 hours of it, passing the famed dog park, going NW, and ending up at Pt Reyes Light House along the Pacific Coast, no breaks!
What an adventure! I quickly found out that small bumps to a car passenger are HUGE ones to a motorcycle rider in the back! I heard and felt every bump in my neck. I honestly thought I would be seeing a chiropractor ALL day Wednesday.
Not only that, but neither of us had an easy time getting OFF of the cycle. Age does set in! Talk about cold and stiff. My index fingers were numb, not due to the cold so much since I had on good motorcycle gloves, but due to the fact that I had been holding onto the struts behind me that secure the back seat to the cycle! This at least kept me ON the bike and not flying off into the barrow pit.
But when we arrived, the views and waves were worth it. We were atop a huge Cliff with the light house at the bottom on the edge of the sea. Just our luck that the light house was closed Tuesday and Wednesday, but we still had great views. I could see the Murres on the cliffs and rocks below.
King suggested eating our picnic lunches at a beach and we headed back to South beach that had lots of sand, but I was amazed that the sand was very coarse, not like any other beach I had ever been on. The rocks over which the water moves must be different.
I would love to go back again, this time with a camera and my binoculars AND in a car! King took the pictures sent here.
On the way back, I wised up and did a bit of "Posting--English style" so that my legs took the brunt and not my neck. Did NOT have to visit the Chiropractor!
It is nice to know that King deems me as good a friend as his dog, BO, since he takes me to the dog parks!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jane's adventures keep going on!

Never a dull moment in the life of Jane

garden vegies
I love to saute my garden produce for breakfast.  I probably have potatoe, onion, zuccini, yellow squash, squash flowers, egg, and tomatoes.

Rockville Hills Park Lake
In the fall Canada Geese gather and a Great Egret is overseeing their meeting from his perch on a dock.
Hunter and Haydn and I trekked up the trail into the park for a fall adventure.  It is always fun to see what is new.

Garter Snake
Hunter, the outdoors-survivor, is afraid of nothing.

Haydn heading for college students
A class was studying the invertebrate zoology of the lake.  Of course, Haydn needed to be present in the adventure.  See him running in the bottom middle of the picture?

Muir Woods in October
Jeannie Foster and I headed west into the Redwood forest on her day off, 5 Oct.  We came across many beautiful, serene places the one above.

All Burned Out
Jane and the twin burns.  These trees survive almost everything including diseases and fire!  Many are several hundred years old.  I am learning about the stream and its livng properties as well as the forest from two great books that I bought.

Columbus Day Hike
Holly, friends Len and Marlin, Haydn and Hunter, and I headed North-west last Monday for a wonderful adventure-filled time at the Bothe State Park NW of Napa.  the rest had fun at the creek while Marlin and I visited the nature center.  Then we had lunch at Gotts and then watched the boys rock climb at a great place in Napa.

Cub Scouts trash pick-up Service project.
These are 14 of our 17 cub scouts plus 5 adult helpers.  We picked up trash along the highway north and south of Rockville Hills Park for an hour.  We have done this for two years now, and it really helps create a lovely environment plus giving respect for nature.  The boys added this to their earning of the Citizenship belt looop.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


         I am constntly amazed at the almost continuous inspiration I receive in my life.  By this I mean that as I go about different activities, thoughts come to me that help or solve a situation. 

        For instance, last Saturday Haydn and Hunter and I were hiking in Rockville Hills Park and came to the lake at which were about 10 college students wading collecting specimens for an invertebrate zoology class.   As we aproched a table where their specimens were displayed, one girl was concerned about something on her hand.  I thought it was a wood sliver.  But out of my mouth came, "Hair, use your braid!" and I grabbed her braid and got her hand up to it and brushed the end of the braid over the hurt place like a paint brush.  She then indicated that it had been a bee sting and that the stinger was now no longer in it.  The forester produced a sting-ease medication, and all was well.  They all were thankful that my quick thought and order had worked so well.  So was I!

        Then on Monday while at Rush Ranch for a panel painting project, four sticky places needed to be gotten rid of.  Sandpaper was suggested, but none of the 6 of us had any.  Then, popping into my mind was the fact that this was a ranch with a work shop across the large parking space and perhaps some was there.  Finding a Docent working nearby, I asked her if she had sandpaper and she asked what number.  100 was one of the painter's answer, so I relayed this information and soon had two wood-blocks surrounded with the needed sandpaper, which I quickly used to make fast work of getting rid of the unwanted surface.   After returning the sandpaper blocks, I realized that I was not needed since there were already too many to do the job, so I headed home thankful that I had filled a need.

        Later, I got a call to help a mom with her 2 day-old baby needing a look-see at proper latching--which is my specialty concerning breastfeeding.  I helped with new techniques and suggestions, and all went well then and later.  It seems the Lord really cares about these nursing mothers and sends inspiring thoughts to me when I am about this business.

       Much later, I got a text from a granddaughter concerning creating a thesis statement.  I texted back several times and was amazed at the information that I gave with hardly even thinking about the answers!  She was very thankful as was I to again fill a need.

      I really feel and know that the Lord helps us as we strive to do His will.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fun trip to Utah Aug 29 - Sept 4, 2012

I had the priviledge of flying to Utah this past week for several Marsh Morford events. 
On Thursday evening the 29th of August, we attended a BYU-Washington State foot ball game.  BYU won 30 - 3, I believe. 
Then on Friday morning Alisa took me and the two little ones to Benjamin Park for a get together with other home school mothers while the older children were at an Academy. 
 On Saturday morning, chores took up much of the time and in the late afternoon Lasangia was created to cook while we attended the baptism of Nastia and Ruslan.  They had been taking the missionary discussions for the last month and were now ready for their next journey.  The extended family that resided in Utah came to witness the ordinance and then dinner and games.
Sunday at church the two children were confirmed (of course the baptism and confirmation were in Russian with Marsh performing the priesthood ordinance.)
Monday saw us adventuring to the mountains for a small time of river activity.  Ruslan and Nastia were estatic.
After that we dressed in our church clothes, prepared sack lunches, mounted the 15 passenger van, and drove for 2 hours to Brigham City for the Temple Open House.  It took at lease an hour of slowly walking in the sun around the temple block with hundreds of others before we entered the temple area for the explaination video.
In complete silence we entered the temple proper and admired the workmanship, ordinance rooms, baptismal faunt, and and peach motif of this the newest temple.  Alisa wanted these newly baptized children to have an understanding of what a temple was so that in 2 weeks, they will join many baptized Utahans and attend the dedication in their designated areas.
River experience
Emma posing in a tree

Morford river bonding