Sunday, July 31, 2022

Mission Montana

It was time that Gerry saw other parts of the US. So we headed north to Montana. With a wedding to preside at in Absarokee at the end of the week, we decided to make a run through western Montana, visit some friends, and see some sights. 

Just the three of us: Me, Gerry, and White Horse

After dinner in Bozeman with a couple buddies, our first stop was Helena to see Uncle Pud. 

We just wanted to relax but he put us to work changing water, moving fence, and oiling the racks on his '35 for the parade. 

We did get to take his new old Mercury for a spin though.

Go west young man, but only after a ranch breakfast in Avon. 

We stopped at Legendary Lodge in the Seeley Lake area to visit some friends. Beautiful.

Polson to see Fr. Kevin was Wednesday night's destination. Super fun, chill evening. Thanks for the steak, cigar, and whiskey partner. Keep up the Good work.

Glacier Park didn't let us in easily, but we kicked a little and made it. Super beautiful and fun time fishing. Fish won.

On to the next one... Great Falls to visit some more friends. 

Eventually we landed in Absarokee. With a little time on our hands, Gerry tried his hand on the Rosebud River near Fishtail. 

This time he won. Six fish he says, though no one was there to confirm or deny. 

Mission accomplished. 

Great fun. Congratulations to Tobias and Kaycee Cortner. We enjoyed the wedding and parties surrounding it. Thanks for the excuse to run through Montana. 1750 miles later and we're back where we started. Montana is beautiful. But hard to beat the dry, dusty prairies of Wyoming. 

Shoot for Heaven

Aim high and the things of this world will make sense.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Friday, July 22, 2022

St. Joseph's Chapel

It's not good for man to be alone, says the celibate priest. Celibacy is for intimacy. The only way a consecrated single life makes sense is within a prayerful relationship with Jesus Christ. To help foster such devotion a place of prayer, or chapel, in the rectory is a good idea. It also gives the priest a place to celebrate daily Mass when one is not scheduled in the main Church or on his day off. We've had a makeshift chapel in the rectory for years. But wanting a more solemn space dedicated only to prayer, we built St. Joseph's Chapel. This is not a consecrated chapel nor does it contain the Blessed Sacrament. Both would be nice, but that takes further discussion. A designated place of prayer in the rectory, totally encouraged. 

Construction on the chapel began well over a year ago during the year of St. Joseph. It seemed fitting to name it after him. After all, it is located right next to his pool hall. 

There is a large store room in the basement of the rectory. So we just moved some things, threw a few more out, and got to work. 

The room would be about 10' by 14'. Simple framing was needed to box in the already corner space. 

Once we cut a hole in the wall for the door there was no turning back. 

From the get go, a robust, earthly chapel that would raise your heart to Heaven was the vision. The oak beams definitely helped with that goal.  

Dave and his wood shop were no small players in this endeavor. 

Solid oak was used when able. But oak plywood sufficed on many occasions.  

For painting of a high caliber, Wanda is the woman of choice. She does some amazing work and truly let her light shine in our little chapel. 

Brenis also lent a hand on those two man jobs. 

The Cross was a family affair, as Dave's brother risked his life holding the lumber while Dave routered the edges.  

Once the wood was all built we had a staining party. 

The golden brown stain was leftover from the construction of the house. We were also able to make use of much of the old trim that was still around. 

Installing the stained fixtures on painted walls really made it come alive. 

This cabinet is handy for storing sacred vessels, vestments, and necessary components for celebrating Mass. 

The statutes really dressed the chapel up. This one of our Lady of Lourdes is one of my favorites. 

It's hard to beat St. Joseph the Worker though. 

The Altar is not fixed to the wall, so it can be slid out for the celebration of Mass if need be. 

The buckskin walls and rock floor give a natural feel to the room. The Marian blue sanctuary wall draws one into the reality of our Lord's incarnation. 

Prayer time. 

Special thanks to the Knights of Columbus who helped fund our project. As well as to all those who lent a hand, especially with the dry wall, flooring, and painting. They all know the necessity for priests to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ if they are going to serve in the person of Jesus Christ. All People of God are called to intimacy with the Trinity. For the priest, however, Jesus in the Eucharist is his spouse. It just makes sense for him to spend time with Him. I think St. Joseph would agree. All glory to God. 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Riding Herd

With a little time on our hands, Gerry and I decided to go check on the cows. You'd think being in the mountains it'd be cooler. But the Belle Fourche is the lowest point in the state. Therefore, 90 degrees in this Hills is pretty common. 

The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse.

John Raney got a few round bales this year. If you can't graze all that grass you might as well bale it.

Gerry brought his fishing pole along to conquer another Wyoming river. 

Mission accomplished. 

The cows won at John's place. We never found them. We found them at Joe's though. Looking fat and happy as usual. 

The laborer deserves his wage. 

It's always good to get out of Dodge. Resets a guys perspective. All the critters look good. I'm sure the eight cows we could't find at John's are fine. We just got out cowboyed is all. Nothing a little ice-cream can't fix though. God bless America. We're on to the next one. 

Responsibility of Faith

Faith is a gift that requires responsibility on our part once it's received.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Hot Iron

Gerry has been spending the last two weeks up at the Kuhbacher Ranch in Montana. We topped off his fortnight with a late season branding.

If your gonna brand in mid July you better start early.

Mike got us all lined out before we split up to round up.

Gerry is old hat on this nice buckskin.

Step breaks. I'd take a horse over a dirt bike any day.

Cool country with cool old cars.

Once the 400 head was rounded up we stampeded them into the corrals. 

Then it was time to ranch. I played it safe by wrestling. 

Jason got Gerry lined out. 

No problem. 

Here's to you America. 

Special thanks to Jason and Boni for hosting our up and coming cowboy. He's well on his way. The Lord played some special cards to line us up a branding this late in the game. Super hot and super fun. Now we're on to the next one. 

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Senses of Scripture

There's two: literal and spiritual. The spiritual is broken into the allegorical (not the analogical), the moral, and the anagogical. 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Dialed In

The HydraBed on White Horse was a huge improvement to our operation, but she took some fine tuning to get her really working good. 8 cows later, she's running smooth.

Once we've shot our critter, we load her up and haul her to the pasture. 

The lift arms make gutting a breeze. 

Next, we unhook and extend our arms to grab the back legs.

Probably the greatest improvement was the hooks on the lift arms. This was our third try. What makes them tricky is that they have to rotate, keeping the chain vertical, while the arms travel a total of 180 degrees. Looks like they do the trick. 

With the arms fully extended we can get her skinned without kneeling down. 12' is a minimum height needed to string a cow.

The great thing with the HydraBed is that we can also swing the carcass into the truck bed. Once there, we quarter the front shoulders.

Then lay the hinds in and lop off the the final two hooves. 

Giddy up.

With White Horse dialed in we can operate as a one man band. This is helpful because I'm running out of cowboys that want to shoot a cow with me. Such is life I guess. It's hard feeding American by yourself, but the mission must continue. Thankfully I have my trusty caballo by my side to do the heavy lifting.


Jesus is THE means to THE end, which is the Father.