Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Returning History

One never knows where the road ahead will lead.

In 1805 and 1806, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery passed through what would eventually become Fort Benton, Montana Territory, on the Missouri River. My husband’s Great, Great, Great Grandfather, Sergeant Patrick Gass, was a member of the expedition, published the first journal, and was the last member to die in 1870.

In 1868 my Great, Great, Great Grandfather, John Peter Carolus, traveled the Missouri river by steamboat from St. Joe, Missouri, to Fort Benton, Montana Territory. In 1870 his son Jacque (Jacob) made the same trip with his brother George.

On March 13, 1993 my husband purchased an antique book binding press with the markings: Wells Fargo, Fort Benton, Montana Territory. We have since found that Wells Fargo was in the community of Fort Benton from about 1866 to 1870.

In the fall of 2013 my husband and I took on the mindset - we are moving! Those three words became great motivation to purge and clear a path forward as noted in my post Puzzling Moves. Since then, we have made major headway by donating, selling, giving, recycling, and tossing. What we have enjoyed the most on this part of our journey is the donating and giving. Thus, what to do with the book press?

“For it is in giving that we receive.”
St. Francis of Assisi

On July 16, 2015 we arrived in the community of Fort Benton, Montana, to return the book press. We met with historians from the Fort Benton/Great Falls area who were thrilled to receive the press, and to meet with a descendant from the Corps of Discovery. With the guidance of the Executive Director of the River and Plains Society, Randy Morger, we toured the heritage complexold Fort Benton and the Starr Gallery of Western Art, Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center, Hornaday Smithsonian Buffalo, Museum of the Northern Great Plains, Museum of Agriculture, Homestead Village, and the Museum of the Upper Missouri. While in Great Falls, we toured the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center and were guided to various landmarks from the expedition by Don Peterson, a Lewis & Clark Foundation member, author, and historian. For anyone familiar with the expedition, we saw Decision Point, Great Falls, Great Springs and several of the Lewis & Clark portage sites.

Our recent experience in Montana was a trip of a lifetime for us both. Although we were returning history, our family history was brought home to us. While we continue in the process of downsizing our past to create a better future for ourselves, it has been remarkable what we have experienced, and look forward to wherever the road may lead.

I would like to personally thank Ken Robison, author and historian at the Overholser Historical Research Center in Fort Benton for introducing us to Randy Morger and Don Peterson. With all the history and new friendships, we hope to return soon.

Photo courtesy of Ken Robison

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Coma Song

What’s your coma song? If you don’t know what it is, think about what song or type of music makes you move, wiggle a toe, or bob your head. Can’t think of anything? Come on, you know what I’m talking about, when you can’t seem to sit still whenever the song is playing. Perhaps you are ashamed to admit marching bands hit your groove thing. It’s okay. Whatever it is that makes you twitch, it has coma song written all over it, so to speak.

So now that you have a coma song, what should you do with it? You want to make sure your family and friends know what your coma song is in the event you should ever end up in a coma. I have even included instructions for my coma song in my Health Care Directives. Yes, in those documents you can make sure particular music, even marching, is played should you ever be in a coma.

For example: I can’t sit still when Billy Idol songs are playing, and it's not like I even had any of his albums; but nevertheless, that is the music I want playing should I ever be in a coma no matter how old I am! If there is any possibility that I can journey back from the depths of a coma, Billy will make it happen. So, once again, what’s your coma song?
Tuileries, Paris photo courtesy of Clark family archives

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Eating to Live: Craving Kale

This spring we traveled to Asheville, North Carolina. The manager of the B & B we were staying at suggested we try Posana Cafe for dinner. She mentioned how incredibly wonderful the food was, it was a gluten free restaurant, and she now craves their kale salad and must have it on a regular basis. While we aren’t gluten free, I find restaurants fully committed to being gluten free usually have wonderful, fresh, and novel approaches to the food they serve. So, off we went to Posana.

Since my surgery last fall, my pipes (as I refer to my newly connected Crohn’s free intestinal zone) are working the best they have in years. I am eating foods I had long ago given up, and trying foods I have never eaten like kale. While kale has been around gardens and local grocery stores for years, it's the cool kids food of the moment. With the fact there are more interesting ways of serving kale than ever before, and the health benefits of eating it regularly are nothing short of amazing, I now add kale to my morning smoothies in small amounts and slice it sliver thin to add to salads. But I have never had a fully kale salad as I was unsure about all that fiber and how it would move through my pipes. Since I found the craving of kale comment rather interesting, I thought I better try this Posana salad. So I did, and now I crave Posana’s kale salad, too.

I found the recipe for the crave worthy salad on-line and can eat it whenever the mood strikes.  I know - how can anyone crave the rather firm, hard to digest kale with a slight cabbage flavor? All I can say is the executive chef at Posana knows food and knows how to do magic with kale. Since I have prepared the recipe almost weekly since our visit to Posana, I understand how the flavors work. First off, remove the hard center rib from each leaf, slice kale very thin and chop-chop to incredibly small pieces. Then, with your hands, massage olive oil and fresh lemon into the green chopped mixture. This process breaks down the firm kale leaves, imparts a light lemon flavor, and since you have had your hands in the mix - helps you become one with your kale! The addition of Manchego (a firm, nutty tasting Spanish cheese), and toasted pumpkin seeds (I use toasted sliced almonds) is just what the green glob of kale needs to override any residual cabbage flavor. The pièce de rèsistance is the addition of dried black currants. Their intense raisin flavor along with their natural sweetness finish this kale salad in a remarkable, but crave worthy way.

What’s this kale craze, or should I say kale kraze, all about? Consider kale a super food loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, iron, a great source of fiber, and, wait for it, protein! Wow, I know, right? I’m sure you are all quite excited over the possibility of kale in your life right now; okay, maybe not so much. But I just bet you will change your mind on kale when you try the Posana kale salad. Come on; be a cool kid and click the hyperlink to the recipe noted here. If you are ever in Asheville, stop by Posana Cafe and tell them hi for me! One last thing, you may be interested to know National Kale Day is October 7, 2015; party on!

Glowing kale courtesy of deedavee easyflow