Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mantle of Love, Robe of Royalty

*Mantle of love, robe of royalty*
*Family Treasures*

When I think on family, the multi-faceted jewel that is the building block
of community, I think first and foremost of my own family, beginning with
the loving parents of us six children; Claude Elias Black and Nina Stevens.
My brothers and sister fill my thoughts. I think of great spiritual
treasures given and received, of lessons taught with love, and even of
special gifts along the way.

Presents of the purchased sort were scarce, but what comes to mind are the
much treasured special ones such as the red and white flannel nightgowns mom
made for Maria and myself one Christmas; the only present we received. I can
almost feel the soft flannel under my fingers..... and it is so full of
love. This is such a fine example of the way they raised us, in simplicity,
seldom more than one or two presents for any occasion, often handmade or
carefully selected to be full of meaning and love, often representing a
sacrifice. Nora remembers the year when there was no money for presents at
all, but she was working that year and carefully spent her hard earned money
buying special presents for her brothers. It may not have been much, but it
followed the thoughtful, loving example set by our parents.
Mom and dad raised us kids with out a TV, and instead of gathering around
that we went for walks, learned to cook, created things from found objects
in nature, or went fishing. There was never time to get bored, we never knew
what that word meant! They would take us on journeys to see family, take us
dancing, and even bowling! Their presence was our present. This was their
legacy.

Actually the bestest present I ever remember was all the days and weeks and
years camping with family; it was the fresh caught fish from the Lewis river
tossed into the skillet upon arriving back at camp to go with the dutch oven
potatoes, onions, and hamburger and the camp baked dutch oven rolls; it was
the love that filled our nights and days, the appreciation for the beauties
of all creation; it was the songs from a mothers heart; it was the teaching
of a loving father; it was the life lesson learned when the whole hillside
slid down across from the camp when we were adolescents. That was my first
lesson in the impermanence & constant change of the world around us, and
also how in the midst of such massive destruction was the seeds for the
birth of new creation, as we watched new plants & trees begin to grow &
reshape that landslide over the next few years! As I grew I learned that is
true for us in our lives as well. Thus were the gifts expanded upon!

These gifts of the spirit were the greatest as one by one we children grew
strong in the love of family. We filled our hearts with sparkly eyes and
waterfalls, with children of many generations and all ages, and with tears
and laughter. Life was a treasure, we were children of God and each one of
us was worth more than gold. Through hard times and fun times we danced and
cried together, generation after generation. We came together for funerals,
for weddings, and thank goodness we even gather for reunions! Children are
born, grow tall chasing butterflies and picking huckleberries with purple
mouths, laughing and arguing together.

Oh sometimes we like to bicker a bit, sometimes judgments fly for mysterious
reasons, but set them all aside and look to see what a beautiful thing this
family we have truly is. No one is better or worse than any other, we all
have our strengths and our faults, our blind spots and our wisdom. None of
us can truly judge any other in this family or in this life, for to judge we
are hampered by the 2 x 4 in our own eye. Thus were we taught by word and by
example. Look at the beauty of what has come out of this man Claude and this
woman Nina! Oh what a true treasure finer than all the gold in the world!
Multiples of great-grandchildren grace their crowns, and so their robes have
become royal, and their mantle of love has spread itself over all whom they
claim as their own.
 Darlisa Black
June 13, 2005

Claude and Nina Black
Taken by Darlisa in the mid 1970's


1958 family portrait, I am the baby.  

Claude and Nina Black's wedding day, St. George, Utah 1932

Playing in the forest, something we were always doing!  Mom and Dad, mid 1970's I think


Dad and my brother Sheldon.  I never met him in this life, as he died in a hunting accident at age 20 in Sept. 1956, before I was born.


Christmas 1958.  Roger, Dennis, and  Boyce
Darlisa, Claude, Nina, Nora, and lil David Kyte

Roger and Grandma Stevens in the 1950's, American Fork, Utah

Grandma and Grandma Stevens


Stevens Family.  Nina is the next to youngest, and sitting on her daddy's lap.

Nina as a teenager in southern Utah.

This painting that is in an oval frame was Grandmother Stevens' picture.  When she passed away, Mom was pregnant with me at age 45.  With one girl and 4 boys already, her siblings told her that if this baby was a girl, she could have this picture that she had always loved, and it would be for the child when she grew up..  Guess what?   Yep, I have the picture on my wall. 


Boyce heading off on a mission, Darlisa, Nina and Claude

Claude Black's parents and siblings


Monday, November 2, 2015

Traveling Along the Columbia

 Traveling Along the Columbia

Driving through the heart of the Cascade Mountain Range on highway 14,
Westward along the Columbia River from White Salmon, Washington...
the beauties of this region are overwhelming. 
Every moment of the journey a treasure,
every new view unique.
Wraith-like wisps of fog, hovering like a butterfly
over still water.
Reflections dance in the mirrored surface of the quiet pond
that is set like a jewel among the mossy cliffs
and evergreens.
Jagged peaks line the passageway thru the Cascade mountain range,
and small fir covered islands in the river
are reflected perfectly in todays unusually glassy surface
of the mighty Columbia.
Small V-shaped valleys cut their narrow twisty pathways sharply down
to the river from the looming sentinal like peaks
of the southern Washington Cascades.
Sea foam green lichens clothe the bare limbs of wintertime maple,
and emerald green moss vibrates with life on
cliff side ledges and on tree trunks.
Beacon Rock rises straight up between river and road, an ancient volcanic core...
standing tall like a sentinel watching over travelers,
while down  below the Rock's feet a train edges narrowly along the strip of land
between rock and river.
Occasional splashes of brilliant yellow-green lichens paint themselves on bare rock faces
like ancient petroglyphs full of forgotten messages.
Frequent thin waterfalls drop from great heights in the cliff faces to join forces with the
mighty river hundreds of feet below.
I travel the road upwards over the tip of Cape Horn, along the roadway cut and bridged
right into the curvy cliff face.
Looking east down the gorge, steel gray river and sky slice thru the browns and greens of the lowlands,
with a dusting of fresh snow on the very tops of the peaks above,
in both Oregon and Washington States.
West, a blanket of fog curves like a snake along the river's surface
and far above,
morning sunlight reaches thru clouds behind me and dances along ridgetops
stretching west towards Portland.
Small flocks of geese bank and swerve forming into their native V flight pattern,
giving me a momentary sense of the freedom of flight..
cutting through the winds of change
strength in numbers.
The hiway I follow drops now, back into the valley as it widens...
driving down through the blanket of fog, past a flock of shaggy misty sheep grazing at the very edge
of the city of Vancouver, Washington.
Little wisps and twists of fog dance along  the remarkably calm surface of the
Mighty Columbia river,
appearing and vanishing like the multitude of thoughts wandering through
in my mind

Golden mist lay
gently on
snow covered fields.
Above them
a rosy gold
snow-crowned mountain
stands tall
in morning light,
illuminating my heart."

...Darlisa, january 2005

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Letter from a Cougar Creek Fire Firefighter

I have a special treat this evening, a personal letter written by a firefighter with 12 years of experience packing for a 14 day run of fire camp, packing their heavy pack up on the firelines, and coping with all the wildfires in many places.  They have also been camped in many small towns as well.  This Firefighter asked to stay anonymous, but asked me to share especially with those who think fire camp looks like a prison or a military camp. #CougarCreekFire  #WaWildfire

     "I speak on behalf of myself when I say that all firefighters in camp fully understand this job.  We all pack our 14 day bags, and expect to be at a camp in the wilderness for two weeks. We prepare for this and do not need laundry services.  This is a self sufficient, smooth moving machine that we choose to live in and we take pride in our careers.  We eat like kings and queens.  Our supply unit carries wet wipes, sunscreen and any other necessity you could think of. We have unlimited access to boxes of various fruits and snacks to supplement our amazing lunches.  Today's breakfast consisted of blueberry banana pancakes, sausage patties, eggs, hashbrowns with a bar full of toppings. Not to mention the option of granola, yogurt, cereal, cottage cheese and fruit, fresh fruit, milk, chocolate milk, various juices, teas, coffee, lemonade and iced tea.  This is our job. If we accepted all donations that came our way, we would waste an unfathomable amount of time, money and especially food.  The outpouring of support for the wildland firefighting community this season is something we don't generally see to this extent.  If only the community knew how much we appreciated the offers!  PS - we also have mobile laundry services. ;)  We are always willing to set up a public tour of camp!  It's open!
     Additionally, these crews will throw a fit when presented a shift under 16 hours.  A majority of these firefighters work seasonally.  We make a years worth of money in 3-4 months.  And love every minute of it. ;) "
~ anonymous long term firefighter

I want breakfast with them!
I know that everyone really wants to help in some way.  Folks in Glenwood are doing their best at making at least some of the FF feel at home and cared for, with homemade cookies and postcards, but most especially with signs and conversations and appreciation, even hugs.  The Firefighters were happy this morning thanks to some folks in town that made kind gestures. Locals also spoke of watching a couple Firefighters walking around town this morning picking up trash.  That meant a lot to the townsfolk, as did the FF acting as crossing guards for the kids going back to school.  It is the conversations, the waves and thank you notes and other encouragements that really make the big difference.
~darlisa


Fire, Emergency, Mapping Links




Fire, Emergency, Mapping websites and Contact info Links
*****************************************
Cougar Creek Fire information office at (509)364-3369
 INCIWEB CURRENT FIRE REPORTS:  #CougarCreekFire       #waWildfire
   ****************************************  
 LINKS:
*****************************************
YAKAMA NATION.  Much of the fire is on their ancestral lands.  Here is the Tribes website to learn more about their culture:

UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE (USFS) main page:
http://www.fs.fed.us/

Northwest Interagency Coordination Center:
http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/

Incident Information -- Northwest Large Fire Information Summary

KLICKITAT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE:
http://www.klickitatsheriff.com/KCSO/KCSO_Home_GD.html

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:
https://www.doi.gov/

BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS:
http://www.bia.gov/

CHARITIES: An informational video for those who solicit charitable contributions from Washingtonians FROM SECRETARY OF STATE:
http://www.sos.wa.gov/charities/

WANTED!  PEOPLE TO FIGHT FIRES IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON
http://www.kmtr.com/news/local/322770721.html?mobile=y

****************************************
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
AIR QUALITY, SMOKE PATTERNS, HEALTH ISSUES, WEATHER:
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
****************************************
NOAA Fire and Smoke Products:

WASHINGTON DEPT. OF ECOLOGY  Air Quality

OREGON DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

LANE COUNTY, OREGON AIR QUALITY

AIRNOW (Government)
WILDFIRE SMOKE DETAILED BREAKDOWN AND HEALTH PROBLEMS:

AIR QUALITY NOW HELPFUL LINKS:    http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/p/state.html

“9” P’s of PREPAREDNESS” FOR EMERGENCY PREPARATION:

WASHINGTON SMOKE INFORMATION:  includes map and tips for people with respiratory illnesses

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE 7 DAY FORECAST FOR GLENWOOD
(you can type in your own city or zipcode for your area forecast)

USFS BLUE SKY DAILY RUNS ANIMATED SMOKE MAP

*********************************************
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

       MAPPING WEBSITES FOR THE FIRES AND LIGHTNING
***********************************************
LARGE PDF MAPS from #CougarCreekFire Incident Command
https://deptofnaturalresources.app.box.com/s/7s5p5rj8sz7kx1xv4lbkto5p5op6t2c8

Wildfire Tracks for the US

Real Time Lightning Strike Map

Mapping Support for Cougar Creek Fire; Updated frequently, showing current fire activity:

US Wildfire Activity Web MAP

Forest Service Modis MAPS:

USDA Forest Service Active Fire MAP:

GOOGLE EARTH FIRE WATCH PLUS:
Facebook group by retired firefighter
Charles Elliott Dudley Jr.

**********************************************************
OTHER PRIMARY EMERGENCY, GOVT AND FIRE PAGE LINKS
**************************************************
Klickitat Emergency Management has an emergency alert system that will send specific emergency information such as evacuation notices to those in the affected areas. Please sign up to receive this information:

SKAMANIA COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:

SKAMANIA COUNTY LIST OF FIRE DEPARTMENTS:

Washington State DNR Fire Resource Contact information by region:

Northwest Interagency Coordination Center:

National Interagency Fire Center:

Incident Information -- Northwest Large Fire Information Summary

larger area fire website:

live broadcasts of scanners:

Oregon Dept. of Forestry... Fire in the Forest:

Washington Wildfire Resources from
WA Governors office (Jay Inslee):

********************************************
EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEMS
********************************************


KLICKITAT COUNTY

Register for Emergency Alert Notifications
via phone, text, email: 
Fed. Gov. Emergency Alert systems, info and links:

Localized Ready Alert systems, by town or state:

FEMA integrated public alert warning system:

IPAWS public alerting authorities (from FEMA page): 
includes WA state emergency management system
and a few WA state counties by locations:

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BLOG Rick Wimberly:

NIXLE BY EVERBRIDGE,  commonly used:

Yakima County Emergency Management Services:



STEVENS COUNTY FIRE UPDATES 2015:

INCIWEB ALL WASHINGTON INCIDENTS:

NWCC INTERAGENCY FIRE UPDATES:

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

      LOCAL NEWS PAGES AND WEBSITES

 Gorge News Center:

Yakima Herald

OPB interview "What Happens When Wildfires Return?
http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/segment/when-wildfires-return/

Seattle Times:  How to help — and 9 other things to know about the wildfires
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/northwest/how-to-help-and-9-other-things-to-know-about-the-wildfires-2/

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


     FACEBOOK PAGES

WASHINGTON EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:

CHELAN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:

OKANOGAN COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:

US National Weather Service Boise Idaho facebook page:

 Columbia Gorge wildlands fires and emergencies:

Cougar Creek Fire

Facebook page "Northwest Stormtrackers":

Washington Wildfires And Emergency Situations: 

Goldendale Sentinal Facebook page:

CHELAN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:

WA STATE DEPT. OF ECOLOGY FACEBOOK:


WA STATE DNR FACEBOOK PAGE:

WA STATE NATIONAL GUARD facebook page:


NORTHWEST FIRES (Facebook page):



Monday, August 17, 2015

Fire, Emergency, Mapping websites LINKS

Fire, Emergency, Mapping websites and Contact info
         Also found here:    https://www.facebook.com/notes/cougar-creek-fire/fire-emergency-mapping-websites-and-contact-info/459995557513530

Cougar Creek Fire information office at (509)364-3369  #CougarCreekFire

Inciweb current fire reports, The federal level large fire website:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

YAKAMA NATION.  Much of the fire is on their ancestral lands.  Here is the Tribes website to learn more about their culture:
http://www.yakamanation-nsn.gov/index.php

NOAA Fire and Smoke Products:
http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/land/fire.html

WILDFIRE SMOKE DETAILED BREAKDOWN AND HEALTH PROBLEMS:
http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/AirQuality/SmokeFromFires/WildfireSmoke

AIR QUALITY NOW HELPFUL LINKS:    http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/p/state.html

Use the nine “P’s of Preparedness” to get ready for major emergencies:
https://washingtondnr.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/be-ready-for-wildfires-with-the-9-ps-of-preparedness/

Washington Smoke Information:  includes map and tips for people with respiratory illnesses
http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
       MAPPING WEBSITES FOR THE FIRES AND LIGHTNING

Wildfire Tracks for the US
http://wildfiretrack.com/

Real Time Lightning Strike Map
http://www.lightningmaps.org/realtime?lang=en

Mapping Support; Updated frequently, showing current fire activity:
http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=46.136284%2C-121.420298&z=11&t=h%2CCurrent_fire%2CWind_in_6_hrs&q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.propertylinemaps.com%2Fp%2Fpublic_land_map%2FUSA%2FUSA_wildland_fire.txt

US Wildfire Activity Web MAP
http://www.esri.com/services/disaster-response/wildlandfire/latest-news-map

Forest Service Modis MAPS:
http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/imagery.php?sensor=modis&extent=conus

USDA Forest Service Active Fire MAP:
http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/#

OTHER PRIMARY EMERGENCY, GOVT AND FIRE PAGE LINKS

Klickitat Emergency Management has an emergency alert system that will send specific emergency information such as evacuation notices to those in the affected areas. Please sign up to receive this information:
http://www.klickitatemergencymanagement.com

Washington State DNR Fire Resource Contact information by region:
http://wa-dnr.s3.amazonaws.com/publications/rp_fire_statewide_contacts.pdf

Northwest Interagency Coordination Center:
http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/

Incident Information -- Northwest Large Fire Information Summary
http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/fire_info.aspx

larger area fire website:
http://www.wildlandfire.com/

live broadcasts of scanners:
http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/stid/53

National Interagency Fire Center:
https://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm

Oregon Dept. of Forestry... Fire in the Forest: 
http://www.oregon.gov/odf/pages/fire/fire.aspx

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

      LOCAL NEWS PAGES AND WEBSITES

 Gorge News Center:
http://gorgenewscenter.com/

Yakima Herald
http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/news_watch/

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

     FACEBOOK PAGES

US National Weather Service Boise Idaho facebook page: 
https://www.facebook.com/NWSBoise

 Columbia Gorge wildlands fires and emergencies: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1619846594937912/

Cougar Creek Fire
https://www.facebook.com/groups/CougarCreekFire/

Facebook page "Northwest Stormtrackers":
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NWwxTRACKERS/

Washington Wildfires And Emergency Situations:  
https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonWildfiresAndEmergencySituations

Goldendale Sentinal Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/goldendalesentinel/timeline

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"My Lennies" (Darlisa Black) with "Dragon Wagon" (by Leannan Sidhe)





This little video is made of a series of photos taken within a couple of hours with a mid grade point in shoot, before I ever got my first DSLR.  Music by Leannan Sidhe, one of my favorite songs... and i actually play the flute in the beginning of the song :D Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rain Dances on the Tongue


Rain falls
on dry parched soil...
and the world blooms
with brilliant color
and joy.
My tongue tastes the rain
while cool shivers
dance down my spine.
Grateful am I 
for the rain that lifts 
the weary heads of flowers
in summer heat.
Grateful...
for the light dancing 
along the soft curved edges 
of raindrops.
and 
Grateful
for the light that flows
 into my heart 
once more
and 
and breathes fresh life
into the 
darkness.

                                               ~Darlisa Black