The Ranch

The Ranch


Deserted  falling apart

Our dilapidated ranch house awaited our arrival for years

Aging ungracefully  with broken windows

And cupboards hanging loosely by a single hinge

Our mother’s death  had called us home

To see to our last work of corporal of mercy

The look on my brother’s face spoke of an  absence  in our lives

Did these ghostly structures keeping vigil over the Missouri River

Also need a work of mercy

In the kitchen a box of pancake mix still awaiting a call to breakfast from Grandfather  –

Dusty, cobwebbed  and ignored  even by the mice

A slightly crooked icon of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Watching over this slow decay

By the door a holy water font  yearns for a drop from the great river below the badlands

A sign of the cross

A  lifetime of prayer :  rain for the crops, health for the cattle

Safety for all of us who toiled here

“Look. There’s one  of Mom’s  checkered blouses  in the closet.”

Its only companion  the high-pitched whistle of the North  Dakota wind

Moving the window curtain like a boy shrugging his shoulders

Finally stepping off the porch a rabbit startled us and soundlessly ran off alone in the tall weeds

On the way home we dodged oil patch rigs on the road –  service trucks

Massive pot holes

“We’ll get through this,”  he offers back in town

Deserted  and falling apart  I confidently mumble “I know”

Then  signal left and turn right


-Eddy Grim


A tribute to Mary Francis Grim Kuschel, beloved mother and grandmother.


Of Mice and Men…When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

‘The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.‘       –Robert Burns

I had everything all planned. A friend was coming over to spend the day with my kids while I took my DH in for surgery. The freezer was stocked with popsicles, ice cream, juice, jello and yogurt.

But at about 11 o’clock am the day before, something went wrong. I fell into bed, blankets piled high, shocked at the rapid onset of the flu. Quick arrangements were made for another friend to take my DH to surgery, and I lay in bed bemoaning the turn of events. How could I take care of my poor man when I was delirious with fever?

My kids are so funny. Fending for themselves, they went straight for the…peanut butter. Three knives and an empty jar of apricot jam later, they came to check on me in bed. What do you do when you and your 4 kids all have the flu and your husband is having major surgery? Talk about a complication!

1) Count your Blessings. At least one of us was able to take care of the other sickies at a time.

2) Ask for Chicken Soup. After many kind offers to help, I found the courage to mention a need. That Homemade Chicken Soup probably saved some lives.

3) Laugh. Even if it seems crazy, laughing feels good and makes sense when things seem out of control!

Now that I am feeling better but still taking care of a few sickies, here’s a few ideas of what to do to keep from going stir-crazy at home.

1) Learn How to Sprout Grains for Bread. Thanks to an encouraging sister, I’m sprouting barley and it is so much fun to watch!

2) Make a Sourdough Bread Starter. I’ve been wanting to do this and finally have 7 days at home to feed my bread!

3)Research ‘Paleo’ and make something new and different. I made paleo ‘cookies’ that made me feel like a health-food Rock Star! Try these Apple Banana Cookies

Defying Windmills

The order of knight-errantry

Because the world is no longer in such a state, however, “the order of knight-errantry was instituted to defend maidens, to protect widows, and to rescue orphans and distressed persons,” the knight continues.

Each of the ten quotes below is worthy of its own essay. Yet when my eyes fell upon this one, I couldn’t help but see the stunning correlation between the quest of Don Quixote and the compelling character and heart of God. I began to search the scriptures regarding injustice, true religion, and justice. The world never ceases to give birth to new cases of injustice, unimaginable horrors being repeated time and time again. It is nauseating, and should cause us to cry out for the return of Christ. Yet here we are, as the salt and light of the earth, during this time of war, famine, and pain. As Don Quixote took it upon himself to ride out into the world to defend maidens, to protect widows, and to rescue orphans and distressed  persons, so must we practice what the bible calls true religion…’religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food

with the hungry

and to provide the poor

wanderer with shelter-

when you see the naked, to clothe him,

and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear;

then your righteousness will go before you,

and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;

you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

–Isaiah 58:6-9

The Lord works righteousness and justice for the oppressed. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne, love an faithfulness go before him. Let those who love the Lord hate evil.

This is the character and heart of God to which I was drawn, reflected in the story of Man of la Mancha. The world did not recognize or understand Jesus Christ, yet he embodies what we all long for: to see justice served. I know I’m not the only one whose heart breaks reading the reports of what is happening in Syria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia. Many stories are not even reported, only witnessed by the victims, the humanitarian workers and missionaries in close proximity.

Jesus Christ came once to save the world. He will come again, but he will come as a judge. He came once as the sacrificial Lamb, but he will come again as the Lion. Be forewarned, the Lord will take up the case of the poor and exploited. He will plunder those who plunder them. He will punish as our sins deserve. God can not be mocked, a man reaps what he sows. I love the Word of God. It is not polite, or gentle, or politically correct. Sin cannot be tolerated by a holy God.

He is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. The Lord’s patience means salvation. He will have mercy on anyone who cries out to him. Let’s pray for the oppressed nations, the orphans, the widows, the aliens. Let’s also pray for their oppressors.

I want to share with you an inspiring story of a group of women who have just completed an awesome journey together!

Global Campaign to Combat Injustices Affecting Women and Children

ATLANTA, Nov. 15, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — In an effort to raise awareness and funds to combat oppression, slavery, exploitation and global trafficking, The Freedom Climb will unite 47 women from around the world who have volunteered to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  The event was chosen as a symbol for the challenging climb that marginalized women face while climbing out of oppression and into freedom.

The Impossible Dream (The Quest)

Hubble Site: Hot Blue Stars at the Core of Globular Cluster

As the daughter of an English teacher, I was immersed early in the writings, stories, and films of classic literature. A favorite of my father’s, and therefore mine, is the story of Don Quixote de la Mancha. Over and over I listened to the songs, memorized the quotes, and grew affectionate towards this parody of an insane man on a quest to right all wrongs. As I came to understand the significance of this man and his noble quest, the words to this song have grown deeper in meaning.

This February, when spring is still a promise and the sky is bleak and gray, let your life be filled with vision and purpose. Quiet your heart and prepare to run the race marked out for you ahead.


The Impossible Dream

To dream the impossible dream

To fight the unbeatable foe

To bear with unbearable sorrow

To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong

To love pure and chaste from afar

To try when your arms are too weary

To reach the unreachable star


This is my quest

To follow that star

No matter how hopeless

No matter how far


To fight for the right

Without question or pause

To be willing to march into Hell

For a heavenly cause


And I know if I’ll only be true

To this glorious quest

That my heart will lie peaceful and calm

When I’m laid to my rest


And the world will be better for this

That one man, scorned and covered with scars

Still strove with his last ounce of courage

To reach the unreachable star.


–Joe Darion