July 9, 2008 to July 8, 2009

 

July 8, 2009  Last evening I  had another Inipi / Sweat Lodge  prayer at Friendly Forest.  Now, already the moon is waning  for  the next two weeks.  I am still waiting for the steel roofing for the air locks I am building.  It SHOULD arrive tomorrow.  That would complete the construction of these two additions and I will be relieved when that is over.  It has dragged out too long.  I am very pleased with how they add to my use of , and enjoyment of, my home.  Their real test will be during the cold winter months.

As I  was getting ready to open the door to my fire pit where the rocks were being heated, I slipped on the pair of welder's gloves I keep handy and use for that purpose.  I encountered  a soft obstruction in one of the fingers of the left glove.  I tried to shake it out but it was stuck.  I then tried to get it out in some other fashion but with no success.  So I just pushed my finger into the space, squashing whatever it was.  I really did not have an option in my opinion.  On returning to the A-frame shelter I have over the Initi, there was a bumble bee buzzing around, clearly disturbed about something.  Watching it I found that it kept hovering near where the glove had been placed over a vertical board.  I presumed that what I had squashed was an offspring of that bee, and I immediately felt deep regret over what had happened.   I had not thought through  the impact of my  action on another creature.  For the next  hours, and still this morning, the bee is "searching" for access to the glove and its  presumed "safe" and "secure" nest site.  At this point there is nothing I can do but ask its forgiveness and hope that it is able to find an alternate home.  It also has taught me that I  should think a bit more before I carelessly store my grove or other items  in areas where I should know  creatures are likely to make a home. away from the elements.

I know this is not a "big deal", but every action of mine has consequences on the world around me.  When I trim the grass in my yard  I likely kill or main any number of frogs or insects that were using that space as their homes or food areas.  There is no way I can live without leaving some sort of "footprint" which may be very damaging to another living thing in either the near term or in the longer term.  That is the nature of my place in the web of life.  That I even think about it and felt  regret for this one incident of destruction is probably a good thing.  It tells me that I am becoming at least a bit more sensitive  about how I do impact on the earth and its creatures, and  so perhaps will do less harm than I might have in past days.  I hope that when I do cross to the other side and face Creator alongside all of the other creatures / peoples with whom I shared this time on Earth,  I can stand there with humility and regrets, but also with the understanding and acceptance of my fellow creatures.  I hope that I will also have matured enough to have the same understanding and respect for all those who may have "harmed" me along the journey of the Sacred Hoop.

Enough of  this kind of simple thinking? Probably, but if you have read this far and did not click away, and now find yourself bored or irritated, that is your own doing ... do not look to  direct such feelings to me or anyone else.  Have a great day and a good week.

June 23, 2009    Wow, it has been a long time since I posted to this page.  For those who look to it for current information, my apologies.

I have been busy with a delayed spring and a construction project that I planned during the winter.  With the cold winter and two dogs who always wanted to go out but never at the same time, I was opening doors  and allowing hard-earned warm air to rush out and cold air to  ingress frequently.  I had images of getting, splitting and hauling firewood in hot mosquito days  floating through my mind as I saw the frosty air  by the opened doors.  Not a happy thought. 

As well, I had considered solar collectors to gain some warmth during the months of spring and fall.  I had situated the house and its windows to  avoid a south exposure window   wall and appreciate that fact during the summer.  In winter, however, some more sunshine would be appreciated.  When I decided to add a 20-year-overdue airlock system to my house I tried to plan something that could  serve more than one purpose.  My solutions were two airlocks with lots of glass.  One is on the north deck area entrance and the other is on the south-facing entrance.  After frequent weather delays my construction is nearly finished and I just await the steel roofing material and the time to add the final coat of stucco cement.  Right now it looks like this:

Entrance view.  I was able to obtain recycled patio doors and solid-core birch doors from the Habitat for Humanity recycle store for  good prices.  With extra work to frame the patio doors and hang the oversized (7 foot tall) doors, I have something that I could afford and which serves my purposes well.  The airlocks are un insulated, so double or triple glazed windows were not needed and would have been self-defeating as well.  I trust that the winter experience will be as successful as it seems to be at this time.

Thanks to the Prince Albert Habitat for Humanity people for  this find.

From the south.  Storage for wheel barrows etc below with access downhill.

 

View of north deck airlock.  I have lowered the windows to allow for some space between the roof lines.  This was to allow for working  space along the wall, and when installing the roofing as well as to give better proportions to the appearance of  parallel roof lines.

I still have to arrange to make time for my "spring fast".  I know it will be into summer, but there is no prescribed time for me to take that reflection time so whenever it works out it will work out.  Mid July also brings the Sundance at Whapeton First Nations.  I have been honoured to be able to go there to pray in support of the dancers and the community.  I look forward to that time.

I have been reading some good books over the past months as well.  I will comment on a few of them in another entry over the next while.

April 19, 2009 

Spring officially has been here for nearly a month, and the snow had just  melted , when a rain and snow over-night  brought back the  winter  image shown here.  It was still early in the morning and it is already melting, so that is OK.

Easter is past and the Holy Week celebrations were enhanced by  the full moon on Thursday.  I anticipated the Inipi by one day to allow for  church participation on Thursday.

On Easter Sunday I was delighted to have friends share the Easter dinner with me.  I even made a major concession to the season by making an Easter bread and some special easter cookies.  I am not much for that kind of thing, but  it seemed like the year to try my hand at it again. 

I have started the construction of the air locks  at my two home entrances and I am having a bit of struggle with my  number reversal problem.  I find that I even have to be careful from which end I view a tape measure to be sure that I am reading it correctly.  Knowing that I have this issue, I simply have to be more careful and make sure of things before  I cut expensive lumber.  I am using salvage doors and windows as well, and construction is in non-standard measurements, so things are a bit slower than usual. 

Yesterday I drove to Muenster to attend the funeral of a long-time friend.  While in the area I also stopped in Humboldt to visit with another friend convalescing from  surgery, and then on to Watson to visit with my mother.  My return home about 12 hours later seemed to be a happy event for my two canine friends who had been cooped up in the house for the duration.  It was just too long a trip to take them along.  King has a history of trying to find me when I leave him behind, so leaving him outside is not a good option, and to tie him up would leave him vulnerable to predators from the forest.  While Elmo might stay around, I have not had him long enough to know about that.

Soon I will plan to reactivate Eagle Camp, but right now my construction work is taking priority for me. 

 

March 21, 2009  It is Saturday night, a day after the Vernal Equinox, and I am in a more reflective / pensive state of mind than  normal.  I have an album by Walea playing and it is just starting to get darker.  It is cloudy and threatening either rain or snow, and it could be either given the weather predictions.

Earlier in the week I finally reached the point when I was ready to take down some of my favourite trees near the house.  They were giant trembling aspen trees, towering nearly 100 feet and straight with a crown near the very top.  One of the cluster had died last year and I know that means all will soon follow.  When a poplar dies it can stand till a strong wind comes and brings it crashing down.  If one of my friends came down in the direction of the house it would do major damage.  In addition, beaver have come back to the pond, and they too could bring one of them down one night.

Still, I hesitated and  grieved what I knew must be done.  I have had a long friendship with their spirits.  Unlike spruce or pine, when aspen grow they grow from a common rootstock, and what we see above the earth is only part of the larger  being.  That is also why all the tops tend to die off over a short time.  Even as I grieved them I knew that the next generation was already there and reaching to the heavens.  If I could bring the old people down carefully I might  avoid damaging the young healthy ones.

I planned how it needed to be done, for all of the reasons indicated above.  I prepared cables and chains and winches to secure and tension the trees to fall in the correct direction.  I had to wait for a windless time because even with strong chain and cable the power of brother wind would command the outcome.

At this time all are down and I have begun to buck them up into useable lengths.  They have fallen well over the pond ice and I need to remove the pieces before the warmer weather turns ice and snow into water.

I have been thinking and debating this action since early last summer, and for something to take that long to be brought to resolution is unusual even for me.  What it told me is that  there were a lot of spiritual and emotional conditions that I needed to resolve as well.  Prayer has been helpful.

I was asked why I did not seek out help to do this, and I realize that the answers that I provided to the questioners were incomplete and perhaps not even fully honest.  Although it is true that I would have found it a distraction to have another person around, perhaps the full reason is that I wanted to be alone with my standing people friends at this time.  I would not ask anyone else to understand  that, so it is easier to not try to explain it at all.

In addition to the tall aspen trees I needed to remove some spruce and birch which had died as a result of the high water we have had for two years.  Beautiful trees that started last spring green and healthy gradually faded and died, shedding all of their needle leaves before summer's end.  One of the most beautiful of these had been the special tree adopted by my mother many years ago.  She had told me that she had picked that one because it would always be fully in my view and would remind me of her.  I do not need that tree for me to remember her and also to know that God has given her years  that go even beyond those of her adopted tree.  I will plant another generation of that tree species to become her new tree.

--

Earlier this evening I resumed the task of stripping leaves from Prairie Sage that I had collected and dried  during the summer.  My supply of sage leaves had become depleted.  I make a compressed ball of those leaves each morning and evening to make a smudge to cleanse myself as I begin direction prayer to begin and end each day.  I always remember the teaching that says only good spirits like the smell of sage smoke and any negative spirits will flee the area.  That is what I need to happen at those times of prayer and even though the smoke may not achieve that goal, it reminds me to do so with my own spirit as I turn to face my Creator and recall the gifts that I have received from the six directions as I walk the Sacred Hoop each day.

--

In a situation that is unusual, the March Inipi was one  where I was alone with the other creatures of the Universe for that prayer time.  While I appreciate the companionship of other two-leggeds for that prayer, it is also good at times to  not have to take the prayer leader role and just be present in that holy place for that  holy experience.   It was also  a negative 34 degrees with a stiff wind to make it seem even colder.  I modified some of the protocols to reduce the number of times I ventured out to bring in new hot rocks.  The power for Father Sun in the fire of the rocks was a most welcome experience  after the frigid preparation times of earlier that day.

Last evening just as it began to darken, I watched a file of six whitetail deer come to inspect my work with the trees.  They stood and gazed and then moved on.  The snow is deep and reached fully to their abdomens and their capacity to jump came in very handy.  They were headed in the direction of my snowshoe trails.  I know they like the greater ease of movement there.  I know they too are anxious for spring to be here.

February 11, 2009  Another full moon has passed and the cooler weather of winter has also come back for a while.  I have been incredibly lazy over the past  two months compared to what I recall of other winter periods. 

Last fall I ordered Fine Wood Working Magazine's 201 back issues on DVD.  I have been going though them in sequence and enjoying them tremendously.  The quality of the page images and  the search features make it  better than other  archive DVD's that I have seen in the past.  These contain a wealth of  imagination, wisdom and skill in the wood working  art.  I am inspired to thoughts of all kinds of new creations of my own ... but that would have to wait till warmer weather.  I will do something, I know that, but summer projects have to be priori zed and both the depth / or lack of depth of my budget as well as the capacity of my body will determine what happens and what does not.

I have also been planning to add airlocks to two of my entrances.  I have an application for building permit  in at the RM office and await the decision.  In one case I hope to make  the airlock a solar collector as well, nd in the days of spring and fall, when the sun is lower but still has some heat production capacity, to use it to b ring warm air into the house during those hours.  That would reduce my need to burn so much wood.  I had considered adding solar panels to  bring warm air in, but that would not have dealt with the air lock question. This past winter (said to be 20% colder than normal) , along with two dogs who want to go outside frequently, but never at the same time, reinforced to me the desirability of airlocks.  When I built the house I used R2000 standards  except for a south-orientation for windows and the addition of air locks on the entrances.  I do not regret the orientation of the house, but I have regretted not adding the airlock feature.  I have been able to obtain good quality re-cycled glass units  at a very good price.  This will make the project much more affordable.

Continued woodpecker harassment of my cedar shake exterior also has me thinking of either replacing those areas with cement stucco or sheet metal siding.  Again, time and budget will be large factors in those decisions

I have been reading a few books as well, but still have a few more in line for winter reading while still others are now being shipped to me.  I am a real sucker for a good book on topics that interest me.

One of these books was "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young.  I have heard others speak of it and it seems to have made some sort of "best-seller" list.  I have mixed reactions to it, but in general found it worthwhile and do recommend it as a read to others who have a Christian spirituality and wonder about the age-old questions ab out  who God really is and how beliefs square up with the realities of perceived evil in the world.  It is the question of Job in the Old Testament, and it is the question that  challenges the heart of anyone who believes that God is a loving God.

As some readers of my web site may have noted, I have placed view counters on some pages.  I find that some pages, such as this one, receive a lot of "hits", and it raises for me the questions of who you are and why you navigated to this or other pages.  If you found things of interest and have a bit of time, a short note would be nice to get and might  assuage some of my curiosity.

January 10, 2009   Temperatures have moderated for the first time since December 11, and that has brought a bit of light snow this morning.  It is also the day of full moon.

The past month has been a good time with friends and family, a warm home, and relaxing  times.  The wood pile has been shrinking but will likely be very adequate for the rest of the season.

I have obtained a mapping GPS unit, and I have been plowing through the instruction manual to learn how to use the many functions that it has.  I am impressed with it so far but will need to actually use it in the field successfully before I gain the confidence I would like to have with it.  I had set a benchmark of sorts for myself to learn its uses; to have learned how to use it on the life of one set of batteries.  At last examination, the first battery set is nearing the end of its power, so I am coming close to my objective even if not fully so. 

I am using a MapSource product called TopoCanada, which is topographical maps of Canada.  Although the unit has a 265 mb capacity, that  is only somewhat more than the requirements to download just Saskatchewan detail.  I wish this kind of technology had been available during my earlier years and our white-water canoe trips into northern Saskatchewan.  We relied on our own tracings of 1:50,000 scale maps and the information a few members obtained from studying aerial photographs .  We never did get lost but there were a few times when there were disputes about exact location.  Looking at a two-dimensional map and then translating that to  actual three dimensional cliffs and tree lines in front of you can be a real challenge for the mind.  When on the water in a canoe you do not see the water or landscape or elevations  that lie beyond your immediate view. 

With the continuing cold the birds have been eating a lot of black sunflower seeds and a huge amount of fat trimmings that I was able to get from D & L Meats in Prince Albert.  I and the birds thank Willie for his kindness.

I have done most of the work for the book-keeping functions of Friendly forest Products and have sent the Saskatchewan Government the owed PST that I had collected through the year on product sales.  Now things are also in shape to determine  income tax forms later in the spring.  I have learned how to do the basic double-entry book-keeping with Simply Accounting software, but I am not good at this, and my dyslexic reversal tendencies are not a help either.  At the beginning I was  making entries and then had a passing thought that I should check to see that my reversals had not kicked in to make a mess of what I was doing.  I called up a report and found that I was indeed doing it backwards!  Fortunately I had not done too many entries and was able to recoup things with only a few lost hours of effort.  Next time I will remember to check on things earlier and more often.  Once again, the business has not made any money though it came close.  I also had more than usual expenses to offset  somewhat higher sales this year.  I need to remember the philosophical position I took when I started this business;  " I need to sell my old mistakes so that I can afford to make new ones."  This being a part of the admonition  to all artists that "real competence will come after 10,000 mistakes ... so get busy making your mistakes."  Mitakuye Oyasin

December 25, 2008  It is Christmas morning.  I have filled the wood box, have the fire going well, and have done all of the food preparation that I can do.  I will be having a few friends over for  a special dinner  later this afternoon, and I like to have most of the food work done before my guests are here so that I can enjoy their company too.

Since I seem to be allergic to commercial turkey meat, I have prepared a different menu.  I do not know who reads this section of my web site, but  just to tease your taste buds, here is what we are having:  Prime Rib roast with gravy, mashed potatoes with sour cream, pork sausage dressing with cranberry sauce, mixed Greek Salad with my own dressing  with cardamom spice as its secret ingredient,  mixed steamed vegetables with a Swiss and Cheddar cheese sauce,  Indian style sweet potatoes (dum arvi), dinner rolls, fruit juice punch, coffee / tea, sour cream pie and/or mixed fruit salad. 

The food  is a wonderful gift, after so many wonderful gifts, from our Creator.  I have a warm home and good food and good friends.  What an abundance of good things from Creator / Grandfather of the South Winds.  The temperature, while still very cold, is moderating a little bit.

I look forward to additional visitors in the post-Christmas times and I hope to do some more visiting too.

Greetings to all friends of Friendly Forest, and have a really good 2009 as well.

Hoop Boy at Friendly Forest

December 11, 2008  I have prepared the Sacred Fire Place and will light the fire in a short while.  It was a chilly - 27 degrees  when I went out, but  with little wind, it was just fine.  I know I will appreciate the heat from the Tunkas / Rocks later this afternoon!

I finally composed the generic section of a Christmas letter and will post it as a PDF file here.  If you do not get one with a personalized section you are welcome to just have a look at this one.

December 08, 2008  I just finished a custom cremation urn in simple birch wood.  I used the technique that produces a grain that runs around all four corners of the unit.  It is not a prominent feature in this item as  the grain was very subdued.  I selected this  very simple sapwood piece because the image was to be a simple relief carving with no colour accent or background  emphasis.  Whenever I am asked to make a special item of this kind I am deeply honoured by the trust  placed in me by the client.  I appreciate that.

 

With the days very short at this time of year I took a few images of my home at 10:30 AM on December 07.  The sun was up and out but still behind the trees.  The quality of light at this time of year shows the  low angle of light being filtered through the water vapour in the atmosphere.  In the summer when the light enters the atmosphere at a  higher angle there is less filtering and the quality of light is  very different.  While my eyes adjust and my brain gets used to the differences the camera is very  true to noting the differences.  Here are a few thumbnails of my space in the winter.

A view along the entrance area down to the Initi with its light snow cover.  The Waluta reminds me of my commitments.

 

Backing up into the parking area I see this view of my home.  It is built into a hill with a two-way slope.  The near corner is a mere 4 feet above the grade and the diagonal corner is  nearly 20  feet above grade.

This is a view from the pond.  With the water frozen I was able to back out onto the ice to get this view.  I have located nearly all of my home's windows on this north-east exposure to take full advantage of the incredible view  across the pond.

December 01, 2008  It is a long time since my previous entry.  Winter is here but with an incredibly mild November.  Even today the temperature got above the freezing mark! 

I have finally taken a few photos of recent wood work.  I have been using my larger lathe and am quite happy with how it behaves.  Click on image below to go to page that features these recent items.

I have been able to obtain a large amount of beef fat trimmings for the woodpeckers.  I have placed three mesh bags with the suet on the clothes line just below my dining area window.  Often all three bags are busy with feeding woodpeckers or chickadees. 

My doing this is motivated less by a desire to take care of the birds than to prevent them from eating holes in the wood on the outside of my house.  This winter it seems to be working better than in previous years.

I have welcomed another four-legged guest.  "Elmo" needed  a new home and I was able to provide that welcome.  He has settled in very well though there is a clear pack hierarchy around here.  I am determined to remain the pack leader while King takes second place and Elmo has to assume the final spot.  Both dogs are quite old but Elmo really becomes alert when the female four-leggeds that reside with my neighbours come over for a visit.  It is hard to recognize that he is the same dog.  Although he is neutered, that does not seem to lessen his interest.

Elmo on the left and King on the right declare that they are residents at Friendly Forest with a full set of rights and privileges.  That is OK with me.  They bring me many blessings and joy to go along with the extra cleaning and door-openings.

I have been following my pattern of doing Inipi prayer ceremony each full moon, though in December I will be doing that prayer a day earlier.  When it is cold outside I usually choose to remain in the Initi Lodge between rounds other than when I have to get more hot rocks from the fire place.

October 14, 2008  Today is a Federal Election day in Canada.  It is also full moon.  To free myself up for the Inipi prayers today I voted in the advance polls last week. 

Thanksgiving leftovers  are loaded in the fridge and will make for great eating for a few days.  There is enough variety  to make for interesting combinations and allow me to avoid boredom.

Last summer ten Korean nursing students were in Canada as part of an exchange program.  I was able to host them for one evening at Eagle Camp and for a breakfast the next morning.  When they left they gave their hosts gifts.  One of the gifts I received was a pop-out puzzle of a historic iron ship used in  a conflict with Japan.  I promised them I would post a photo on this page when I had finished it.  I started  several weeks ago but only got back to finish it the other day.  Here is the finished puzzle ... with fond memories of ten  very nice guests at Friendly Forest.

I have been busy getting my firewood for the winter of 2009 - 2010.  I was able to get all I needed from aspen trees  around my yard.  There were enough mature trees that had started to die off at the tops.  I felled, cut split and stacked about 4 cords of wood.  That will heat the house for a year and be enough for the Inipi fires for a year as well.  I did not get all of the cement work done that I had hoped to, but perhaps the weather will give me a few days  of good temperatures that I would trust to make cement.

Elmo has adapted to Friendly Forest in a very good way.  I am pleased that he has become part of our family of creatures out here.

September 14, 2008  I have been repairing the damage done by the hail storm and getting firewood under cover before winter.  Yesterday I welcomed a new addition to our Friendly Forest family.  "Elmo" is a 12 year old shepherd / lab mix male dog who  needed a home where he would have more regular human companionship.  He had been much loved by his former owner, who, due to a change in life situation, was no longer able to spend much time with Elmo.  He asked if Elmo could find a new home here.  We had found out previously that Elmo and King get along well as long as everyone is ready to acknowledge that King is  the second in line around here. ( Of course, I am alpha.)

With King into his 16th year and Elmo also an old dog, that makes for three old dogs living together in this place. 

Tree leaves have started to change colour though we have not had a hard frost yet.  That is rather unusual.  Another sign of approaching winter however, is bear trying to add some fat before hibernation.  A youngster was in my yard tonight and at my compost pile.  It was for that very reason that I did not try any composting for quite a few years.  I would not let the dogs out after the bear so I grabbed a big pan and a ladle and chased it off with a loud banging.  I want no harm to the bear, but neither do I want harm to myself or my two dogs.

 

August 27, 2008  Yesterday a severe storm came through this part of Saskatchewan.  There were tornado touchdowns in the area but fortunately I only experienced  strong winds, large hail and heavy rains.  Some trees were broken off or pushed over, but not too many from early indications, but the hail did damage.  It started with hail stones over 2" in diameter.  The noise and the visual impact was powerful.  Check this page with some more images and a bit more description of my experience of the storm.

August 20, 2008  I delivered the Chapel furniture and assembled it in its planned destination.  I am pleased with it and hope it serves it's true purpose to bring together God and humanity and all of creation.  I will be preparing a document explaining the symbolism and intent of the pieces so that those who use it will have a source from which to understand the pieces better.  For more images of the pieces in final position and earlier stages of this project, click  here:

August 15, 2008  This afternoon I made some of the preparations for tomorrow's Inipi prayer, but I also got some more cement from the city and did the final rubbing out of the altar that I had built.  While I had things out on the deck to avoid a mess in the house, I took a few photos and am adding them to the SM Proposal Page.

From left to right: Stand and processional cross. presider's chair, altar with two candle stand bases, ambo and book rest with incense bowl, and credence table.  Items that are hidden in this image are better seen in others posted to the SM Proposal Page.

August 13, 2008  I have had a virtual machine installed on my MAC computer so that I can run my old Windows programs.  As soon as I make the adjustments and try to get all of the peripherals working I should be abe to return to regular updating of this site.  I ask for patience.

I have also started the final finishing of the SMHS Chapel furniture and will make arrangements to have it delivered soon.  I am very happy with how it has turned out.  The wood is beautiful and the three main pieces go together very well.

On the VM I am operating with Windows XP.  So that makes two new operating systems for me to get used to.

I have also been making cement as I am redoing the sidewalk system at Friendly  Forest.  So far I have been fortunate with the weather but this morning it is raining and I will take a break from that task.  I am having guests over for a supper anyway, so preparations should take precedence. 

At the beginning of July the four custom armoire units were picked up.  But first the painted panels were inserted.  The wood was still to be stained.  Click here to see other construction details

August 5, 2008  I have my old Dell computer back and am able to update the web site again.  For nearly a month now I have had it out with an IT guy who has been working hard to create a virtualization of this computer for my new iMac using VM Ware's "Fusion".  The problem seems to be the unique traits of the old Millennium ( Me) operating system that runs this machine. yes it is that old.  The Dreamweaver program that I am using for the web site is a Window's based version and I could not  load it to the Apple  system.  If a virtualization finally succeeds I should be able to run my old applications  through the new unit. That is what I am still hoping for as it will save me a lot of cash and leave me with software that I know and actually like to use rather than paying good dollars that I don't have to upgrade and to go to different programs.  The learning curve for the new iMac has been steep enough.

Things had reached the point where software upgrades no longer supported the Me system, and new programs would no longer run in it either ... even Microsoft programs!  That is what had me so angry  ( along with other things) at Microsoft.  People were sending me document files that I could no longer open.

I have been busy.  I have completed the set of Chapel furniture for St. Mary High School, and the 17 coats of varnish are curing awaiting the final "rubbing out" process of the finishing sequence.  I will delay that as long as possible  but still plan to meet my self-imposed deadline of getting it delivered before the beginning of the new school term.

I was able to host six delightful Korean Nursing students at Friendly Forest the other week.  They are on an exchange program to Saskatchewan and their host had asked me whether I would have them come out to my place and spend an evening in the Tipi at Eagle Camp.  It worked out well though our time was rushed, and I was most pleased to meet such wonderful young women and men.  Then I had another chance to meet with them at a wind-up barbecue a few evenings ago.  I was given a few gifts and one was a paper model of a war ship that was used by a Korean hero to fight off the Japanese invaders at some time in the past.  I have promised to assemble it and take a photo which I will post to this page as proof that I was able to accomplish the task.

They  have undertaken a challenging profession of providing care to those in need, and I wish them well and ask Creator to bless their efforts and to encourage their hearts to always be full of patience and kindness.  Ultimately, in my belief system,  curing and healing are things accomplished  by the combined power of the life spirit that resides in a person and the life power of Creator that made the person.  If the life power within the patient is in balance, and the patient experiences kindness  ( love) from those around,  the inner power is strengthened and a healing and cure is much more likely.  Medication and surgery, practical manipulation and sterilizations can do something, but more deeply the strength needs to come from the inner spirit of the person.  The Caring / Healing Professions can do a lot to support that inner spirit of the person who is sick.

I have been promised some emails to keep me up to date as to the progress of my new Korean friends, and I hope that are able to follow through on that promise.  In any case, they should know that I pray for them as individuals and for all that they undertake.

 

July 9, 2008  It has been a while since I posted to this page.  I have been active with all sorts of things.  I have made a series of custom Cremation Urns and have been busy around Friendly Forest.  Trail trimming, garden and yard work also take time.  I had a great time hosting guests for our Scripture Study wind-up event, for Canada Day (July 1) and other guests after that event.

I was asked to make the Coat of Arms for the installation ceremony for a new Bishop for the RC Diocese of Prince Albert.  After some initial problems in removing the former coat of arms from the Bishop's Presiding Chair in the Cathedral (Cathedrum), I was able to have Abacus Signs of Saskatoon print a colour image of the Coat of Arms onto a transparent decal which I have applied to a wood base.  The base is dual layered oak and birch.  While the church furniture is red-stained oak, the coat of arms had a lot of blue and green which would have visually blended into the background.  So, to provide a wood base with a contrasting effect, I laminated birch wood on top of the oak and then applied the image.  This is what it looks like:

I am also trying to learn to use a new iMac computer that I purchased.  I am planning to have a Virtual Machine established on the  iMac so that my old Windows ME system and all of my windows software can still be used.  Some of the graphics software is not Mac compatible and I really do not need upgrades on others if I can still use them the way they are.  I had come to resent Microsoft's policies and products so much that I decided to make the switch to the Mac OSX system.  I had reached the point where I was getting document attachments in new WORD format that I could not open, and other software upgrades that were no longer supported by my old system.  I can understand some independent software provider deciding to only support the newest versions of the Windows system, but how can Microsoft justify no longer supporting their own products that are a few years old?  Their greed and customer gouging practices are so  abusive that I refuse to be part of their system any more.  I know that many others have had the same experience and made the same decisions long ago, and I suspect that many more will do so in the future. 

Journal Archives can be found by going to the Journal Archive Index Page